Veteran Spotlight: Hugh “Bud” Fate

Hugh “Bud” Fate, is 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.

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.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski is the first Alaskan-born Senator and only the sixth United States Senator to serve the state. The state’s senior senator, Lisa is a third-generation Alaskan, born in Ketchikan and raised in towns across the state: Wrangell, Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage.

For more from Senator Lisa Murkowski:

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