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Rural Community Profile: Fort Harrison, Montana

Almost a quarter of all Veterans in the United States—4.7 million—return from active-duty military careers to reside in rural communities. At VA, we work to meet these Veterans where they live, and promote the opportunities to find happy homes in these rural communities around the country.

Like the Veterans you’ll serve, these rural communities are as diverse and exciting as you can imagine. You may find an opportunity to be closer to family and friends, or just enjoy a greater sense of privacy. Perhaps the lower cost of living or even the allure of open space appeals to you.

Today, we heed the words of American author and newspaper editor Horace Greely and “go west” to Montana and the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center. 

Fort Harrison VA Medical Center

Fort Harrison VA Medical Center is part of the Montana VA Health Care System, which covers 147,000 square miles of primarily rural communities, but it began life as a military post in 1892.

Government officials originally named the fort after Benjamin Harrison, the sitting U.S. president, but in 1906, after realizing there was another fort in Indiana with the same name, the Montana fort was renamed in honor of Benjamin Harrison’s grandson, President William Henry Harrison.

The facility operated as a military fort until the end of World War I, when it was considered for a new purpose in serving Veterans as a hospital. In May 1922, Fort Harrison opened as a VA tuberculosis sanitarium, allowing Veterans to take advantage of the Rocky Mountain region’s “dry, vigorous mountain air” as part of their treatment.

Rebuilding and expansions followed down through the years, leading to the present facility, which shares grounds with the Montana National Guard and a U.S. Army Reserve training facility.

Helena, Montana

Fort Harrison VA Medical Center is located near Helena, the capital city of Montana.

Helena was founded in 1864, during the Montana gold rush. In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in Helena and further fueled the town’s growth, slowly helping it begin the transition from mining town to a central hub of government and commerce. This transition ultimately saved the town from going the route of so many other boom towns when gold ran dry.

Today, Montana’s capital city is a welcoming community well positioned for outdoor adventure, and the region promises something for everyone.

Helena’s Last Chance Gulch and the former homes of Helena’s gold mining millionaires provide plenty for history buffs to explore, while the more adventurous among us can take to the 75 miles of local hiking/biking trails or raft the Missouri River.

And if you’re just looking to get away from it all? A peaceful day fly-fishing followed by a drink at one of the many local craft breweries might be in order, or join the crowds at the city’s Walking Mall, which offers a charming place to eat, shop, and enjoy art and music outdoors.

Jobs at Fort Harrison VA Medical Center

Having built upon its long history of serving Veterans, Fort Harrison VA Medical Center is a 34-bed acute care hospital with 6 intensive care unit beds, a medical-surgical facility, and a 24-bed inpatient residential rehabilitation facility. Openings at the facility feature a mix of clinical and nonclinical roles, including:

There are also several positions available in the local Mental Health (Outpatient) Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program, including social workers, marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional mental health counselors.

Work at VA

Find a community that’s right for you, and help us promote the health and well-being of rural Veterans with a career at VA.

NOTE: Positions listed in this post were open at the time of publication. All current available positions are listed at

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