*Pictured above is US Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) speaking before the VFW's 100th annual convention that took place this past Thursday and Friday in Billings, Montana.

The national commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) highlighted passage of the PACT Act on Capitol Hill as he addressed Montana veterans during their 100th annual convention in Billings, Montana.

I spoke with VFW Commander Fritz Mihelcic in Billings on Friday.

Mihelcic praised both Montana Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Steve Daines (R-MT) for their support of the PACT Act. Senator Tester, in particular, played a key role due to his position as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Fritz Mihelcic: Your senators here, Senator Tester who was here this morning, and Senator Daines, are big supporters of it. It's bipartisan, and it is the biggest thing that has happened since the the new GI Bill....the passage of the PACT Act is going to help so many veterans and their families in Montana, and Senator Tester has been a longtime supporter of this. He spoke today. He gave a big shout out to all the veterans. So you should be very proud that you have two senators that are fully behind veterans in this effort, this war against toxic exposure.

What is the PACT Act? As Fox News reports:

The Senate voted 84-14 on Thursday in favor of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. The bill, which was passed with a majority vote, represents the most comprehensive veteran health care reform to date, establishing a presumptive service connection for veterans made gravely ill after inhaling toxic fumes that hung over their bases overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also took the opportunity to praise the VFW posts in Montana as they celebrate 100 years.

Fritz Mihelcic: Coming out of two and a half years of COVID, my mission this year was to get every state to say- we're not dead. We're not laying back. We are the VFW. We're strong. We're 122 years old. We're not going to just take a pause, and we haven't. And that was the big push for community service. Let people know we're here.

Senator Steve Daines praised the VFW, delivering remarks shortly after he returned from viewing the flood damage in Carbon County:

Senator Daines: It’s always an honor to meet with our brave Montana veterans, hear their concerns and thank them for their service. It is because of their sacrifice that we can live peacefully in our great state and nation. The VFW is such an important voice for our veterans, whether it be in Congress for important legislation, or back in communities across Montana ensuring our country never forgets the service and sacrifice of our veterans.

The full interview with the national VFW commander will air during Monday's "Montana Talks" statewide radio show with Aaron Flint in the 9 a.m. hour.

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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