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Meet the Hero of Helena Candidates

John Cole

John Cole’s service to America began when he was drafted and sent to Germany. From Germany, Cole requested he go to Vietnam.

Following his first tour in Vietnam, he returned home to Montana but couldn’t find a job and reenlisted with the U.S. Army for a second tour.

John met his wife Betty in Butte. The two formed a bond over the road as long-haul truckers. They worked as a team sharing many miles across the United States.

John and Betty embody the spirit of husband and wife. Their lives haven’t been untouched by difficulties. The lost many keepsakes and family photos in a house fire several years ago. John is mobility challenged. He relies on a wheelchair and has difficulty hearing. Betty is blind. However, they’ve stood behind each other for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.

Daniel Koehl

Daniel Koehl entered the Army in 1967.

Following his service, he worked as truck driver, until he was injured by a falling stack of freight. The accident caused severe damage to the lower half of his body. Daniel regained the use of legs after surgery but still needs to use a wheelchair.

Daniel went on to work for Vocational Rehabilitation at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. There he helped other veterans work to overcome their injuries.

It is also where he met his wife Jane.

Today Daniel continues his work helping veterans. His Veteran Coffee Drive celebrated 10 years in 2017. He can often be seen around Helena filling his truck with donations of coffee, snacks and other items for VA patients.

Royal Magnus

Royal Magnus is a Helena native and Navy veteran. He served as a medic in Vietnam, treating the wounds of war.

Following the Vietnam War he continued his education with the military and served as a staff engineer and boat designer.

Royal’s wife Marcia was born in Townsend. However, the two didn’t meet in the Treasure State. The met on a ship in San Diego, more than 1,200 miles from their hometowns.

They returned to Montana after retiring from their careers serving America in the Armed Forces.

Royal suffered a stroke in 2013. In 2016 he fell and broke a hip and found himself in the same situation as many of the servicemen and women he helped as a medic and now relies on a walker.