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99-year-old World War II Marine veteran defeats coronavirus: 'I'm a warrior, not a worrier'

'I've gone through hell more than once and this came almost as close'


KMBC 9 YouTube video screenshot

Max Deweese survived World War II, and he also survived the coronavirus. The 99-year-old WWII Marine veteran defeated COVID-19 last week and was ready to celebrate his victory over the deadly disease.

In mid-April, Deweese was admitted to the Ignite Medical Resorts in Kansas City, Kansas. The 99-year-old who was awarded two Purple Hearts during World War II wasn't about to go down without a fight. Deweese, who is from Kansas City, battled the coronavirus and defeated the lethal virus that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Last week, Deweese was discharged from the hospital, and the combat vet was given a hero's welcome as he departed the facility. A crowd of health care workers, law enforcement, a Marine Color Guard unit, and family members cheered Deweese. The World War II veteran held the Marines flag high as he left the hospital. Deweese was awarded a plaque and medals that read: "I Beat COVID-19 in 2020."

"99-years-old and didn't succumb to the virus. Oh, I was sick — there was no question about that," Deweese said. "I've gone through hell more than once and this came almost as close."

Deweese enlisted in the Marines after the Pearl Harbor attack. He served as a flamethrower in the South Pacific, including at the Battle of Guadalcanal.

"I've gone through four engagements in the Pacific in World War II and that was hell," Deweese told WDAF-TV. "This wasn't near as bad because at my age, I figured out what's going to happen is going to happen and I'll ride with it."

Paul Chappa is a member of Friends in Service of Heroes, a veterans support organization. He has known Max for years, and awarded him the medals during the celebration.

"There's nothing that Max can't do," Chappa said. "It certainly scared us when we heard that Max had been admitted. But it's no surprise that Max has beat this. Max's attitude and never give up spirit is something that was ingrained in him as a young Marine, and it still lives with him today."

Deweese will now spend two weeks in quarantine at his home. Max said that he is most excited to play golf again with his best friend, fellow WWII Marine Jerry Ingram.

"I've ridden it and thank goodness the good Lord has seen fit to keep me around for a little while longer," Deweese said.

"I'm a warrior, not a worrier," Deweese said. "And I try not to worry about things that."

Community celebrates WWII vet's recovery from COVID-19 www.youtube.com

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