Seeing COVID-19 through the eyes of a WWII veteran

Coronavirus

"We're trying to keep going, eating right, and staying in," Miller said. "I think that's the important thing."

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Everyday memories of World War II are disappearing, as the many who served continue to age, but those still here are now facing a different kind of battle.

RITA MILLER, WORLD WAR II ARMY NURSE

Those who fought in World War II, like Rita Miller, who was an army nurse, are now close to being a century old.

RITA MILLER, WORLD WAR II ARMY NURSE

“I’ll be 100 years of age on June the 23rd, 2020,” Miller said. “I was born in 1920.”

In their lifetime, they’ve seen many things — hardships, successes, failures, and now a pandemic.

“I’m just hanging around, trying to keep going,” Miller said. “My kids watch me and we’re doing okay ya know, what else ya gonna do?”

According to the World War II National Museum, almost 300 veterans are dying every day.

I don’t know how many of us are still alive.

RITA MILLER, WORLD WAR II ARMY NURSE

Given their age, they’re considered high-risk for COVID-19.

“We’re trying to keep going,” Miller said. “We’re eating right, staying in.”

She said she’s not too worried though, because she knows she lived her life to the fullest.

“Stay busy, keep yourself going,” she said. “I’ve done that all these years.”

COURTESY OF WILL HANNA

As you can tell from Mrs. Miller, she’s a living legend — and Will Hanna, whose father also fought in World War II, agrees.

They are in fact the greatest generation.

WILL HANNA, NAVY VETERAN

Hanna followed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the Navy in 1969.

“They set the standard for us when it comes to patriotism,” he said.

COURTESY OF WILL HANNA

Bo’s Blessings President and Founder Jannie Layne said it’s important to remember to honor all of the men and women who’ve served this country.

“Their struggles were so much greater than what we will ever know because we are the generation who benefited from their sacrifices,” Layne said.

Because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

I enjoyed my service and I would do it again if I had to, or if I could.

RITA MILLER, WORLD WAR II ARMY NURSE

Bo’s Blessings is a local nonprofit that works to help active, disabled, and retired military service members and their families with needs that arise out of, and in the course of, serving to protect our country.

Below are some of the nonprofit’s upcoming events:

Bo’s Blessings, in partnership with Fayetteville National Cemetery, is pleased to announce volunteer opportunities available for community members in the month of May. Volunteers are needed to assist with three upcoming events: Honor and Respect Headstone Cleaning Days will be May 14-15; Flags In, which is a day dedicated to placing flags in the ground at each headstone throughout the cemetery will be Saturday, May 23; and Flags Out, removing the flags on Tuesday, May 26th. All volunteer activities will begin at 9 a.m. Registration is necessary for all events and volunteers should pre-register by clicking here.

In order to maintain social distancing practices, steps will be in place to ensure the safety of all volunteers. Volunteers must pre-register. Volunteers will check in at the Registration Table located outside the main entrance. From there, volunteers will be directed into the cemetery to work in designated areas in groups of ten or less. Volunteers will exit the cemetery from the west gate. Volunteers who come to help and are not pre-registered will have to wait until there is an available time slot opening to enter the cemetery. Each shift will start on the hour, beginning at 9:00 a.m. A maximum of three groups (ten people per group) will be assigned to work in a designated section or area for each shift. Volunteers are permitted to sign up for more than one shift.

Fayetteville National Cemetery is located at 700 South Government Avenue in Fayetteville. It is one of 142 National Cemeteries nationwide. The National Cemetery Administration honors veterans and their families with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our Nation.

BO’S BLESSINGS

For more information about Bo’s Blessings, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com