Veteran Takes Virtual Honor Flight To D.C.

"When I go through personal struggles of my own, I just think about Ole and how he perseveres, and his spirit is just wonderful."

DETROIT LAKES, MINN — U.S. Navy Veteran Daryle Olson or as everyone calls him, “Ole” served from 1956 to 1960.

When his number was called to join the Honor Flight, there was some excitement.

“When we first found out he was chosen to go on the flight, we were excited and looking forward to it,” Ole’s wife Darlene Olson said.

Due to Ole’s medical complications with Parkinson’s, he wasn’t able to make that flight to D.C.

So to make it up to him, they brought the memorials to him.

“Can you see.”


Into the virtual reality screen.

While Ole was speechless walking around through scenes like the Washington monument, his family and friends followed him on his journey through the screen of a smartphone.

“We’ve had our troubles with Parkinson’s disease, and we see the deterioration of his mobility, but I think like today was just a very honorable thing the Honor Flight did for him, which was wonderful,” Darlene said.

When he returned to the real world, he was given a real hero’s thanks for service.

With gifts and handwritten cards from friends and family, his wife, who he’s been married to for nearly 40 years, says Ole has been nothing short of an amazing person.

“He’s very determined, he loves being with people, and it’s wonderful to see all of our friends and family to help him enjoy this day,” Darlene said.

This isn’t Ole’s first time making history.

When he was stationed in Turkey back in 1960, Ole was following the reports of a U2 spy plane that had crashed down in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Ole was responsible for giving the written report to then President JFK.

“He never got back to me.”

When Ole is not making history, he’s making memories with neighbors like Mike Henning.

“I will be out in the yard, and Ole will come tootling over in his little power scooter, and he’s always anxious to see what’s going on,” Henning said.

Mike spends a lot of time with Ole.

“I was out of work for a while cause I had hip surgery and during that time, mostly every week to play cribbage with Ole, and let’s say he’s a sneaky cribbage player,” Henning said.

Although Ole may not be doing a hero’s work in the service anymore, he’s still finding a way to inspire others.

“When I go through personal struggles of my own, I just think about Ole and how he perseveres, and his spirit is just wonderful,” Henning said.

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