A 36-year-old Iraq war veteran was being treated for traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and back injuries with more than 27 different medications when he died unexpectedly, according to his mother.
Paul Gardner, who helped get Montana Veterans Outdoors off the ground, pauses atop the Beartooth Mountains overlooking the Stillwater River.
Paul Gardner, left, and Ray Mule' pause after a successful blue grouse hunt in the Beartooth Mountains.
George Blackard's simple offer to take an Iraqi war veteran fishing on the Stillwater River proved to be a life-changing experience for both of the men. But it didn't start out smoothly.
Paul Gardner was instrumental in getting Montana Outdoors Veterans off the ground. The Purple Heart medal winner encouraged other veterans to be active.
Casey Elder and Paul Gardner embrace after meeting at the Montana Purple Heart Memorial on the Courthouse lawn Wednesday morning. The two were both wounded while serving in Iraq and their names will be added to the granite plaques of the memorial.