January 21, 2020

Volunteer Al Olson is Awarded

Al Olson, veteran of the Air Force, has been a dedicated Retired and Senior Volunteer since January 2004, but never has his dedication and service to veterans shown more than on a trip to Helena in the summer of 2011. Al left Miles City on Monday morning for Ft. Harrison, MT believing he would be returning with his veteran passenger on Tuesday. Upon arriving at Ft. Harrison, he found that the veteran would be having surgery and did not have any family meeting him. Al served as the veterans’ caregiver for the next 2 days, helping him find his way around Ft. Harrison, assisting in the room after surgery and during the drive home on Wednesday afternoon. Al also spent Wednesday night at a Billings motel with the veteran before returning to Miles City Thursday. Al took a veteran from Miles City to Billings for a 10:30 a.m. doctor appointment. Following the appointment (it is a 5-hour round trip) he bought the veteran lunch as the veteran did not have any money with him. Al often ?loans? money to veterans to buy a meal. Sometimes he is repaid, but more often he is not. Al’s service to veterans can also be noted by the 10,000 he has spent driving veterans to Sturgis, South Dakota, Sheridan, Wyoming, Helena, Glendive, and Billings for the VA Medical Center in Miles City. He also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator of the DAV vans in Miles City. Al received a call to transport a veteran from Dickinson, ND to Sturgis, SD. He traveled from Miles City, MT to Dickinson, picked up the veteran and transported him to Sturgis, SD and then returned to Miles City covering 3 states. Al is a past member of the Citizens on Patrol (COPS) organization in Miles City. He has served as a member of the RSVP Advisory Council and is always willing to help with any activities for RSVP. He has picked up trash, scrubbed floors, transported supplies, served ice cream, set tables, and anything else that is asked of him. In 2012 Al received a Serve Montana award from the governor, and in 2016 the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award from the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Al Olson received the MT AARP 2017 Andrus Award for Service to Veterans

Al’s work supports veterans. It is the mission of all to give back to the veterans that served our country to improve our life. Al’s work enhances the lives of the veterans in transports in various ways: 1) social – he enjoys his visits with the veterans he transports 2) medical – the veterans gets the medical treatment needed 3) economically – the veterans do not have to pay for the transportation to the medical facility; also he has paid for meals when a veteran does not have the funds to pay for a meal 4) Al’s health is better because he is not, in his words, “Sitting in his chair all day!”


Al Olson accepting his ServeMT Award in Helena February 23, 2012. Pictured L-R: First Lady Nancy Schweitzer, Al Olson, Karin Olsen Billings, Vice Chair of the MT Commission on Community Service, and Lt. Governor John Bohlinger

Al Olson’s ServeMT Award Nomination