The Rural Institute for Veterans Education and Research (RIVER) opens Thursday, September 29th at 2875 Tina Avenue in Missoula. The center is located just off Reserve, west of Chipotle.

The RIVER center is committed to providing a voice and a choice in physical, mental and moral healthcare. Many of its training programs are designed to provide career opportunities to veterans, who can then help fellow veterans and community members. Participants do not need to be veterans, and upon graduation will be able to assist veterans and non-veterans alike.

You can learn more about the center at the ribbon cutting this Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will include guest speaker State Superintendent Denise Juneau of the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

The 2,500 square foot space will house 2 classrooms able to serve up to 100 students a week, as well as RIVER’s Educational and Corporate Headquarters. The space also allows for the addition of a ‘Pain Clinic’ to help veterans, and may also provide internship opportunities to some of RIVER’s students.

“We couldn’t be more excited to open this training facility in Missoula, which will teach veterans how to help their fellow brothers and sisters who are struggling to transition to civilian life,” said Ed Lesofski, Founder and Executive Director of RIVER. “Montana has more than 100,000 U.S Military veterans, yet only 38% receive services from the US Veterans Administration. We’re reminded only too often with each veteran suicide that too many are falling through the cracks. RIVER is committed to helping teach vets the skills to first recognize and then how best to assist fellow vets in need.”

Visit the RIVER website for more info and to sign up for classes.