HELENA — Thursday evening the American Legion Lewis and Clark Post 2 recognized a Helena firefighter, Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office sergeant and VA employee for their outstanding work and service to their community.
Helena Fire Department Firefighter Brad Patterson was recognized as their Firefighter of the Year.
“This is an organization that doesn so many good things and I’m happy to be able to support the in anyway we can and having their support means a lot as well,” said Patterson. “I was very surprised and not expecting it. We typically as firefighters and first responders don’t expect recognition for what we do, but it’s pretty cool when it does happen.
The American Legion says Patterson consistently welcomes troops home at the Helena Regional Airport by driving a fire truck along the taxiway. He also coaches for Special Olympics.
Patterson added it could have easily been any other of the firefighters he works with honored tonight and is thankful to be a part of a great organization like the Helena Fire Department.
VA physical therapist Hanna Marron was honored at their VA Employee of the Year.
“ I’m very honored,” said Marron. “This isn’t something I’d expect ever to get but I think it’s more of an hour for our department because we have great employees that have worked there a long time. I think we have close to 100 years of service in our department right now, so this is an honor for everything we’ve done as a team.”
Marron was recognized for her care and kindness in the treatment of the veterans she serves through physical therapy.American Legion members she’s treated say Marron motivates and demands while being compassionate, and supportive to help her patients reach their goals.
Sergeant Eric Gilbertson with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office was named their Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Gilbertson works in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Sheriff;s Office and was recognized for his leadership and commitment to his community.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by your peers and people in an organization as well renowned as this one,” said Gilbertson. “The American Legion has been extremely active in making America a great place to live. I think their vision statement is ‘veterans strengthening America.’ They’re active in legislation to that end, make donations towards other organizations and they’re just a great supporter of the community.”
The American Legion Lewis and Clark Post 2 will submit Patterson, Marron and Gilbertson to the national American Legion for consideration for national recognition.