War veteran Glenn Roush considers himself one of the lucky ones. He was drafted during the Korean War, but after basic training, at Fort Ord in California, he stayed home.
“Everyone went somewhere else but about 20 of us,” he recalled last week.
Roush, 83, was a weapons instructor for new troops coming in for basic training.
“I didn’t teach rifles, but just about everything else,” he recalled. Roush grew up in Cut Bank and graduated from Cut Bank High school.
After Korea, he returned to Cut Bank and got a job with the Montana Power Co., working in natural gas production. There was a lot of natural gas coming into the area from Canada. He spent 40 years with the company.
“It got pretty cold in the wintertime,” he said. “But that’s the job.”
The coldest he remembered was 50 to 60 below, but the wind made it worse. He said he thought Cut Bank was windy, but Flathead over the past few weeks has been just as bad, he noted.
Roush and his wife, Ardith had four children, Kay, Ryan, Glenda and Neal and six grandchildren. His father, Robert A. was born in Hardin and worked most of his life as a county extension agent in Cut Bank, Havre and Browning.
Roush was a state lawmaker for 12 years, serving in both the House and the Senate in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He was a Democrat. Didn’t have much choice.
“You had to be a Democrat to get elected in Glacier County,” he said.
He said his work in the Legislature focused primarily on natural resource issues. He also worked on a campaign with fellow lawmaker Sam Kitzenberg to have U.S. Highway 2 across the state widened from a two lane highway to a four lane highway. They traveled across the state lobbying for support.
He noted it never really did get anywhere. A lot of people didn’t want the road widened in some of the more scenic parts of the state, particularly in the Flathead and Glacier National Park.
“We never got much more of a highway than we do today,” he said.
Today Roush lives at the Montana Veterans Home.