It’s a ‘we’ thing: Jim Provost named Marquette County Veteran of the Year
By LISA BOWERS
Mining Journal City Editor
MARQUETTE — When you talk to Jim Provost about everything he’s been able to accomplish for Marquette County Veterans, you can’t help but wonder how he does it all. But it doesn’t take long to understand why.
Provost himself is a Vietnam veteran. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1965 through 1969, but his service during that conflict went well beyond that, according to his peers. The Marquette County Veteran’ Alliance named Provost the 2022 Marquette County Veteran of the year.
“It’s not why I do what I do. They had talked to me before about doing Veteran of the Year and I kind of put them off. But now they said they want to do it,” Provost said. “I agreed to do it this time, but it’s a pretty humbling thing.”
He said he started helping other men and women who had served in the military to get their VA benefits a couple of decades ago.
“It started to get a little more complex as I started doing things.,” Provost said. “There’s a lot of things we do. We might have to go to a person’s house and move them, you might need to bring them food. There’s a whole gambit of things that we can do to help veterans.”
He’s since served with multiple veteran’s groups and organizations, including the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22, the AMVETS, the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
He is a founding member of the MCVA which serves as a conduit between all those organizations, veterans and the people who want to help veterans in Marquette County.
“That was the biggest reason I wanted to get the Alliance going, because the alliance is a combination of all of those people,” he said. “So we can find out, through them, what’s going on and how we can help. And, we help each other that way. If the legion has something going on, we can get them help, or if the VFW has something going on we can get them help. Not only that, but we get all the information and we can get it out to everybody.”
He now serves as Chair of the alliance’s board of directors.
He actively assisted with raising money for a new DAV vehicle that is used to transport veterans to medical appointments in Iron Mountain
Provost was also one of the people instrumental in bringing the ATTV Traveling Vietnam Wall to Marquette in 2016.
He hoped at the time that the event would be a catalyst for the veterans alliance to grow and continue to serve within the area.
Provost said to be honored by the people he works side by side with to improve the lives of military veterans is, in itself, an exceptional feeling.
“That’s the thing about it, when you are honored by your peers, that really makes it special. You know, I work with all these guys that work with veterans too and they sought to honor me with this because they thought I do a good enough job that I should be recognized. That’s pretty special,” Provost said.
He noted that’s the one thing that makes any veteran’s organization successful in the mission of helping veterans is working as a team.
“It’s a “we” thing — it’s not a “me” thing,” Provost said. “It takes more than one person to get this stuff done.”