Robin Baker, a field office representative for U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, was in Choteau on Aug. 26 to present World War II veteran Bud Olson with a copy of the tribute to Olson that Daines had read into the Congressional Record on Aug. 2, naming Olson the Montanan of the Month.
Baker presented Olson with a signed copy of the tribute at Benefis Teton Medical Center, where Olson, now 100, resides. Olson’s grandson, Jim and Jim’s wife, Annie, the public relations coordinator at the hospital, were on hand for the presentation along with Choteau Mayor Chris Hindoien.
The tribune reads as follows:
“Mr. President, today I have the distinct honor of recognizing Bud Olson of Teton County as Montanan of the Month for his service to our country during World War II.
“Bud was a member of the 82nd Airborne’s 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, which participated in Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day. During that fateful operation, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment sustained many crash landings, including Bud’s glider.
“Bud was the sole survivor after his glider crash landed. Following this tragic event, Bud went on to help secure the bridge in Sainte-Mére-Église, which was the first village in France to be liberated by the Allies. Bud continued his service in campaigns throughout France, Holland and Belgium and took part in the liberation of the Wobbelin concentration camp.
“Military service has always had an influence on Bud. He is a 60-year member of the Choteau American Legion. For many years, Bud had “D Day 44” on the license plate of his car.
“After the war, Bud returned to Teton County where he and his wife, Vi, worked on the family’s ranch outside of Choteau and has been an active member of his community. He served as a Teton County Commissioner for 15 years, from 1965 to 1980. Bud has been an avid supporter of Choteau School District’s athletics program, attending games in town and even traveling to cheer on his beloved Bulldogs.
“Bud celebrated his 100th birthday on July 29, 2021. In celebration, Choteau Mayor Chris Hindoien declared it “Bud Olson Day.” Residents were encouraged to fly flags in honor of Bud and to wear maroon and gold acknowledging his support of the Bulldogs.
“Bud epitomizes the heart of a veteran — a Montana hero — whose selfless service will not be forgotten. On behalf of a grateful nation, I want to thank Bud for his service to our country, and I wish him a very happy 100th birthday.”