'I'm a Warrior, Not a Worrier': Age 99 WWII Veteran Defeats COVID-19


A 99-year-old World War II veteran who was hospitalized in Kansas last month has beaten COVID-19.

Retired Marine Max Deweese was admitted into St. Luke’s South Hospital on April 10 and walked out of the rehab facility on May 7 after defeating the virus, WDAF-TV reported.

“I’m a warrior, not a worrier,” he said. “And I try not to worry about things.”

The Marine fought in Japan during WWII and earned two Purple Hearts for his service, according to WDAF.

Family, friends, Marines and health care workers lined the streets as Deweese left the hospital to celebrate his recovery.

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“I have been so blessed with friendship and love from these people,” Deweese said.

“There’s nothing can replace it. Nothing. And hopefully it makes me a little better man than I was before I started.”

Although he needed to be quarantined for two more weeks at home, he looks forward to playing golf and spending time with his best friend, fellow WWII Marine Jerry Ingram.

Paul Chappa with Friends in Service of Heroes told WDAF in April that he would make a new medal to add to Deweese’s collection for when he beat the virus.

He fulfilled this promise with a FISH medal that said, “I BEAT COVID-19 IN 2020.”

“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 said his time in WWII was worse than fighting COVID-19, but he is glad that he is done with the battle.

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“I’ve gone through four engagements in the Pacific World War II and that was hell,” he said.

“This wasn’t near as bad because at my age, I figured out what’s going to happen is going to happen and all ride with it. So and I’ve ridden it and thank goodness the good Lord has seen fit to keep me around for a little while longer.”

William Lapschies, another WWII veteran, recovered from COVID-19 in April and, at 104, became one of the oldest to survive the coronavirus.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith