101-year-old WWII veteran in SWFL gets his first vaccine dose

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
WWII veteran Jospeh Innes, 101 years old. Credit: WINK News.

A man who fought for our freedom is one step closer to protection from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

World War II veteran Joseph Innes is 101 years old, and he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at North Collier Regional Park on Friday.

It’s a moment he and his family have been waiting for since the pandemic began.

Innes says he can’t wait to get into his Jaguar and ride around the neighborhood to say hi to people. He’s survived a lot in his lifetime, and getting the vaccine gives him even more confidence to fight through the pandemic.

“I feel like about 50,” Innes said with a laugh.

At 101 years and 35 WWII missions later, Innes is still telling his story.

“Fortunately, I flew the 35 missions without a scratch,” Innes said. “On 17 of those missions, we were shot out of the formation … We had one mission, and I think 100 men were wiped out.”

At 21, Innes joined what would become the U.S. Air Force. Flying B-17 bombers, you could say Innes has survived the unimaginable.

“I’ve fought off everything that has come my way,” Innes said.

The pandemic has been no different. After trying over and over in Lee County, through Publix and in Collier County to get a vaccine, Innes and his family had no luck.

“At first, we were concerned,” Innes said.

Innes was thankful friends of his and his wife reached out to Naples Senior Care Center, and they were able to get them on the list for a vaccine.

“It was so well organized,” Innes said. “We moved through the tour with no problems and in a reasonable time.”

Innes says his wife makes him feel young. They both wanted to say thank you to Naples Senior Center for helping them with the vaccine. They are expecting a call to schedule their second dose soon.

Now, Innes can continue to say hi to his friends around the neighborhood with no worries.

“I get in there and take my Jaguar for a spin around the circle,” Innes said.

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