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Murkowski Honors U.S. Army Veteran, Alaskan Leader

Senator: Bud Fate’s Life Woven into Tapestry of Alaska’s History

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski is releasing her ninth Veteran Spotlight installment today, showcasing the work of Hugh “Bud” Fate, a U.S. Army Veteran who was drafted during the Korean War and helped map the ALCAN Highway for military use.

Born in 1929, Fate recalls his family being greatly impacted by the Great Depression when he was a child.  As a young man, he moved to Alaska for better job opportunities and for the Frontier life style.  Fate recalls working on a drill rig on the North Slope in 1950 when the radio message came in that the United States was at war.  “I remember thinking it wouldn’t affect me way up on the Slope, but two weeks later to the day, I got my first draft notice,” said Bud Fate. 

Fate never made it to Korea.  When his commanders found out he was from Alaska, they tapped him for the Army mapping of the ALCAN Highway.  Fate rode in the lead Jeep on all the twists and turns of the newly constructed 1,700 mile road advising the mission commanders about the Arctic and Alaska. 

Hugh “Bud” Fate, U.S. Army Veteran, Former Alaskan Legislator 

(Click on image for excerpt of Fate talking about being drafted into the Army, CLICK HERE for the extended interview)

After his time in the Army was up, Fate returned home to Alaska, where he met his wife Mary Jane (Michael) Fate, a young woman who would go on to become a powerful Alaska Native leader in the Fairbanks and Interior communities.  As they were raising their young family, Bud Fate used the GI Bill to put himself through dental school, an opportunity he says would have been out of his reach had it not been for his military service.  Fate would go on to serve Fairbanks in the Alaska Legislature from 2001 to 2005.

“Bud Fate’s life story is woven into the tapestry of Alaskan history,” said Senator Murkowski.  “He was one of the first people to strike oil on the North Slope, helped map the ALCAN Highway and he served the Interior as a State Representative in Juneau.  We owe it to veterans like Bud to honor them through sharing their stories, and we owe it to the rest of us to learn from the high levels of patriotism, commitment and service they demonstrate for us.”

The “Veteran Spotlight” project is Senator Murkowski’s monthly focus on an Alaska veteran of American conflicts worldwide to honor and draw well-deserved attention to Alaska’s men and women who served.  Today’s installment is the ninth in the series that began on Memorial Day weekend of 2012.  Every month, Sen. Murkowski posts a biography and an interview with an Alaskan who served our country abroad in conjunction with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.  You can watch them all by clicking here.

Senator Murkowski invites all Alaskans to nominate a veteran from the 49th state to be featured in the Veteran Spotlight project.  If you have a family member or friend in the community you think has a story to share, email Spotlight@Murkowski.Senate.Gov.

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