Bracci and Oles soon realized that Oles was reliving his experience on D-Day.
“Bill was in charge of operating a boat on D-day,” explained Bracci. “But those terrible memories were replaced with hope. Bill came back from World War II with a commitment to family and community.”
In the early 1950s, Oles and other veterans joined community members to build a community swimming pool.
“The veterans rolled up their sleeves and built a pool, after getting some donations,” Bracci said. The Delhi pool was popular until its closing in 2003. Oles had been among those working to get a new aquatic center built.
“He wanted to live to see the new pool built, but the bureaucracy of today makes for slow going,” Bracci said. “It’s fitting that the new Delhi Pool, when finished, be named in honor of Wilbur S. Oles Jr.”