Board Members

Montana Vets ~ Montana Waters, Inc.

Board of Directors and Advisory Council

Bernie Jacobs ~ Chair


Bernie Jacobs retired from the Montana Army National Guard in 2009 as a Master Sergeant, and from the active practice of law in 2013. During his military career, he was awarded the Soldiers Medal, the Bronze Star for Valor in Ground Combat, 18 Air Medals, and the Meritorious Service Medal. He is the current chairman of the MV-MW Board of Directors, and a former member of the Montana Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Board of Directors. As a veteran of the wars in both Vietnam and Iraq, he is truly committed to improving the quality of life for all Montana’s disabled veterans.


Wade Ingraham ~ Vice Chair


Wade retired in 2014 after 27 years of service with the United States Marine Corps and the Montana Army National Guard. He is the current vice chair of MV-MW and volunteers with several non-profit organizations serving veterans. Wade is a former board member of Montana Project Healing Waters. After serving two tours in Iraq, he realized the therapeutic value of fly fishing and enjoys sharing that experience with other veterans.




Debra Polhemus ~ Secretary/Treasurer


Debra Polhemus has worked with non-profit organizations for several years. Her recent endeavors included establishing a successful Helena-area pet wellness organization. Previously, Debra was a board member of Montana Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Debra also worked as a development director for a major non-profit children’s theatre. Additionally, she was a market research analyst, and a commercial loan officer.




Lonnie Cook

Lonnie Cook has served with the Montana National Guard for 30 years.  Over the last couple of years he has volunteered with several non-profit veteran organizations in helping veterans and their families enjoy Montana outdoor experiences from fly fishing to winter retreats.  As a veteran, he understands the importance of fly fishing and the healing powers of a pristine river.  He is committed to serving veterans and looks forward to sharing more experiences with our brother and sisters in arms. 



 Advisory Council

 Carroll Jenkins

Carroll Jenkins is a veteran of 3 tours with the U.S. Army. He is past President of the Montana Mental Health Association, past Regional Vice-President of the National Mental Health Association, past President and CEO of the Montana Veterans Foundation, past Chair of the Vietnam Veterans of America Health Care Committee, and past President of Montana Project Healing Waters. He enjoys fly fishing, bird hunting and painting abstracts. He is a fly fishing guide and lodge owner with his wife Margaret Jenkins. He is a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery.



Kelly Downing


Kelly Downing is the Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Coordinator for Montana Veterans Administration (MTVA) which includes all Community Based Out-patient Clinics (CBOCS) affiliated with the VA. Kelly is also the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Outreach Coordinator for Western Montana.

Kelly is also a combat veteran, having deployed for one year to Kuwait in 2003 in support of OEF/OIF, as a member of the Army Reserves. Prior to this, Kelly served four years in the Active Army in the Military Police Corp with the 142nd Military Police Company in Korea and the 980th Military Police Company in Herlong, California


Rob Mahr

Rob Mahr is a native born Montanan who served in the United States Air Force and the Montana Army National Guard and retired in 2015.  Rob comes from a family that served in the US Military.  He has a passion for serving and helping Veterans and their families. Rob has continued to serve his fellow Veterans by working at the VA Hospital, Nonprofit organizations and owns a business that only employees Veterans.



Joshua Johnson

A graduate of The Art Institute of Seattle Video Production program, Joshua Johnson is a U.S. Army veteran who served as a Public Affairs Specialist from 2003 to present, both on active duty and as a reservist. Over his career he has excelled at everything from marketing, media facilitation, crisis-communication, broadcast facility management, and community relations for the Army all over the world. In 2008 he was recognized by the Department of the Army as the Broadcaster of the Year. In 2014 he oversaw the production of the U.S. Army Central quarterly magazine which was named Best Army Funded Publication. When he’s not behind a camera or in the editing booth you’ll find him spending his free time casting his fly rod or soaking up some sun on top of a mountain.