A 93-year-old World War II veteran who beat the coronavirus received a celebratory sendoff on Tuesday from nurses at the Bedford VA Medical Center as they cheered, applauded and waved signs for the vet.
“We’re gonna miss you!” one person in a Facebook video told the smiling veteran as he tipped his hat and waved.
The nurses held signs that said, “Stay Well” and “We Will Miss You!”
The veteran was medically cleared to return to his residence at a long-term care facility.
The veteran’s name was not released by the Bedford VA due to privacy concerns. He was deployed to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during World War II. For his service, he was awarded the Army of Occupation Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.
Representatives from the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea were at the celebration, writing on Facebook, “The Bedford VA Nurses and staff warmly send off a World War II Veteran as he prepares to return to the Soldiers’ Home after his testing positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago.Thankful for his recovery!”
“What a great sendoff from the Bedford VA! Welcome Home!!!” they wrote.
A group of veterans who had been transferred out of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home after coronavirus emerged there began moving back into the facility Tuesday as they passed medical clearance.
As of Tuesday, there have been 29 veteran deaths at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home. Of that group, 22 tested positive for coronavirus and seven tested negative.
Twenty-five other veteran residents at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home have tested positive, and 198 veteran residents have tested negative. Fifty-three staff members have tested positive.
Several veterans were transferred to the Bedford VA starting in early April after the facility completed the conversion of a ward zoned for treating coronavirus patients.
They were the Bedford VA’s first COVID-positive inpatient veterans.
“Converting one of our nursing home wards into a COVID-19 nursing home ward was part of our surge plan,” Joan Clifford, medical center director for the Bedford VA, said in a statement. “Our top priority here at Bedford is the preparedness of our facilities to meet the needs of all Veterans eligible for care from the VA and their families.”
Two other veterans at the Bedford VA successfully returned to their residential facilities on April 16.
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