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WWII vet’s 100th birthday marked amid pandemic

Wilborn Vaughn could fill a book with the stories of his life, and on Friday he added another page with a big celebration of his 100th birthday. (Source: WSFA)
Wilborn Vaughn could fill a book with the stories of his life, and on Friday he added another page with a big celebration of his 100th birthday. (Source: WSFA)(WTVY News 4)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 11:54 AM CDT
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Wilborn Vaughn could fill a book with the stories of his life, and on Friday he added another page with a big celebration of his 100th birthday.

Vaughn, who was drafted into WW II and witnessed the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, is ringing in the century mark during another battle: the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of federal mandates, residents at nursing homes like the one where Vaughn lives, aren’t able to receive visitors. That means family and friends won’t be close by as he blows out the candles on his cake.

But his birthday hasn’t been forgotten.

Despite visitor restrictions, the staff at Capitol Hill Healthcare wanted to make sure Vaughn’s birthday was special, even it it had to be done with social distancing top of mind.

So Friday morning, the street outside the nursing home became the center of a special parade, complete with a fire truck, to celebrate Vaughn’s big day.

There were balloons and cake, and family and friends drove in from Selma and Florida, though they had to give their birthday wishes from across the street.

Vaughn knows what it means to make sacrifices for the good of his country. Friday, it was a time to give back.

“During times like these, it’s so important to hold onto the good things in life and celebrate when we can,” said Amaryllis Pearson, Capitol Hill’s recreation therapy director. “Mr. Vaughn has lived a long life and deserves to see how much people love and care for him.”

While his birthday celebration was Friday, his actual birthday is May 3, 1920. If you reach 100, you might as well celebrate it twice!

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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