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State steps in to make sure WWII veteran receives his COVID-19 vaccinations

David Woodland
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 22:01:06-05

PHOENIX — Arizona has administered more than 486,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Ninety-five-year-old WW II veteran David Woodland thought he was going to be in that number. Until he wasn’t.

On Friday evening, close to 9 p.m. when he is normally in bed, David was in line at State Farm Stadium waiting to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We drove 35 minutes to get there. 35 minutes to get home. We spent about the same amount of time there,” Woodland said.

Once it was his turn, he found out there was no record of the appointment his daughter Laury Tarr thought she made two weeks earlier.

“I asked her if she was going to send a 95-year-old man away?” Tarr said. The answer was yes.

A supervisor told them if they have no confirmation of an appointment then David could not receive the vaccine.

“It’s a little hard to get too upset at 95. But this is not the first time it’s happened between me and the government,” Woodland said.

David Woodland enlisted in the Navy when he was 17. He spent two years at sea during World War II on a destroyer escort. He fought the Japanese and survived a cyclone called Cobra. It took the lives of 800 seamen.

Woodland almost became the 801st fatality when he was ordered to secure a loose depth charge on deck.

“This guy tied a rope around me,” he said, “I stepped out and the second step the wind picked me up and threw me in the ocean.”

The sailor who tied the rope around him pulled him back on board.

Life’s indignities have not stopped Woodland. He has no intentions of surrendering to a pandemic. But he could use some help.

For Woodland's case, the Arizona Department of Health Services is going to step up.

On Tuesday afternoon, the health department contacted Woodland’s daughter Laury and arranged a time for later in the week so he can get vaccinated.