Spotlight on Service: 97-year-old WWII stenographer participates in 28th HonorAir flight

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Meet Olga Keslo. She’s 97 years old and sharp as a tack. She remembers details like no others. 

She recalls dates, years, memories of her life as a stenographer with the U.S. Navy – easily and without hesitation. 

She became a wave in the Navy as a stenographer, taking dictation and shorthand for the higher-ups. She felt an emotional connection to the service. 

“The same thing gripped me that gripped all the men in the country about getting in the service,” she said. “I needed to do something to help.”

RELATED: More on veterans in our special Veterans Voices section

Now, she has unrivaled memories of a lifetime. 

April’s HonorAir Knoxville flight to Washington, D.C. meant so much to Olga. She heard from other veterans that she needed to go. She even bumped into a vet at a local Walmart.

“He said if you have chance, don’t miss it,” she said. “But I never dreamed I would ever, that something like this would exist and that I would get to go.” 

She lost her brother in the war. Olga said she feels she needed to go the HonorAir flight in memory of him and her fellow service members. 

RELATED: HonorAir Flight to focus on female veterans in 2020

For the 20 years of service she gave, she still stays humble.

“All I did was have a job in the Navy and wear a uniform,” she said. 

Celebrating America’s Greatest Generation – a role that cannot be saluted enough. 


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