Local businessman receives honorary military rank

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Barry Hatton, left, presents Chuck Olson with a framed citation for his contributions to military and veterans.

After reading that actor Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan from “Forrest Gump”) had been recognized by an honorary promotion to chief petty officer for his untiring efforts on behalf of active duty military and veterans, the local VFW Post thought it would be appropriate to bestow a similar honorary promotion on a local resident who has also contributed so much to local National Guard, Reserve and veterans organizations, and their causes, according to a press release from the VFW.

At a special ceremony Sept. 25 conducted at the VFW Post, the order was read that promoted Chuck Olson, a longtime local Realtor, to the rank of honorary command sergeant major. In addition to the “Campaign Hat” with his newly awarded rank affixed,

Barry Hatton with the VFW presented Olson with the framed promotion orders and citation that outlined his many and varied contributions on behalf of the local military and veterans’ organizations. Specifically cited were his exceptional efforts in formulating, planning, fundraising and construction of the beautiful Veterans Memorial in downtown Kalispell’s Depot Park, along with his continuing efforts to raise funds for the care and preservation of the memorial.

Olson’s organization and coordination of Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day and other patriotic programs at the Veterans Memorial were also recognized. Olson has also planned, raised funds and organized “Welcome Home” dinner dances for local Guard and Reservists returning home from Iraq.

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