Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight departs Fort Dodge

Olmstead's presence missed at FD airport

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The family of John Olmstead, a U.S. Army veteran, stands next to his empty chair outside of the Fort Dodge Regional Airport on Saturday prior to the departure of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight. For each honor flight, Olmstead sat proudly with the American flag to greet fellow veterans at the airport. He passed away on Aug. 15. His presence is missed by many. Standing in front is his daughter, Dee Burbank, and brother, Ed Olmstead.

For many years, John Olmstead, a U.S. Army veteran from Fort Dodge, was hard to miss at Brushy Creek Area Honor Flights departing from Fort Dodge.

He would sit in his wheelchair holding a large American flag with pride as he smiled and greeted fellow veterans boarding the flights.

Today’s Honor Flight was missing his presence. Olmstead, 87, passed away on Aug. 15.

In 2017, Olmstead who served in the Korean War, said he liked to greet fellow soldiers prior to the flights.

“They all deserve it,” Olmstead said in 2017.

He decided to demonstrate his patriotism and support for the flight after he went on one himself.

“The best part was seeing fellow soldiers enjoy the day,” Olmstead said at the time. “The whole day was terrific and everything is so well planned for every flight.”

On Saturday, Olmstead’s family, including his daughter, Dee Burbank, and brother, Ed Olmstead, gathered in his honor. They stood by the chair that he used to sit in and wished the veterans a great trip to Washington, D.C.

The veterans will return from their flight at about 10:30 p.m. The community is encouraged to welcome them home.


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