98-year-old veteran relives WWII pilot training through new technology

98-year-old veteran relives WWII pilot training through new technology

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) -A 98-year-old Midlands veteran is getting the chance to relive some of his time training to become a pilot during World War II. He lives at Carroll Campbell Place, a senior living community in Lexington, which was recently awarded a grant.

Now, its residents have a new activity to enjoy at the facility, something called digital engagement technology.

This new and innovative program was created and installed by the company It’s Never 2 Late, an organization which strongly believes it’s never too late for the elderly to get engaged with technology.

The company’s software is now implemented in some 3,000 senior living communities nationwide and offers experiences like flight simulation.

For 98-year-old Maurice Brannon who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, the simulator brings back memories of his days of service during World War II, when he was training to fly P51’s.

“You know it’s been 75 years since I flew an airplane,” Brannon said.

He was just 19-years-old when he decided to enlist in the military during his lunch break, while working as a shipping clerk for a wholesale grocery company back in 1941. Brannon says he was just hoping to get some adventure when he made the decision.

He’s recently been given the chance to take a trip down memory lane through new technology now available at Carroll Campbell Place. The senior living community is designed to accommodates and care for Alzheimer’s patients.

“It was little awkward. I was used to rotor – but that thing didn’t have rotor pedals. But anyhow, it was fun trying it,” Brannon said after first testing out the flight simulator.

“It’s never too late to connect, to participate, to have fun and to learn with technology,” implementation success manager for It’s Never 2 Late Sydney Cahill said.

Cahill says the technology can also be a helpful tool to strengthen cognitive skills.

"It helps each person differently, but if you find their interests and you can build the program or the activity that you’re doing to meet their needs, then it’s going to help them in the long run. So, it can help them, maybe, jog a memory or work on their cognition.”

It has certainly helped Brannon prove that some experiences can never get too far.

“It was fun to play with, just brings back a lot of memories and things,” Brannon said.

He has gotten a lot of praise for his flying skills from staff and residents of Carroll Campbell Place. He’s said to be the only resident who was able to make a perfect landing on his first try of testing out the flight simulator.

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