Father, son veterans get COVID-19 vaccine at Hines VA Hospital

HINES, Ill. (WLS) -- It was an unusual father-and-son bonding experience as two local veterans were vaccinated against COVID-19 at Hines VA Hospital this past weekend.

"I'm 71. My father is 97," George T. Lyons said. "They were really excited the two of us were in there."

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David Hilgenberg, a 105-year-old World War II veteran who survived COVID-19, got his first dose of the vaccine Monday.



Lyons said of his father: "Seventy-six years ago today, he was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a forward observer in the 738rd field artillery in General Patton's 3rd army."

The Burr Ridge natives are just two of the more than 2,400 vets vaccinated at Hines since they first began administering the shot December 15, when 48-year-old Melissa Ann Klocker became the first long-term care resident in Illinois to be vaccinated.

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"We all have to take our part to stop this pandemic that's going around," Klocker said.

For Lyons, the hope - more for his father than for himself - is that soon, he might be able to see his grandchildren and great children once again.

"They want to stop and see my dad, we're a tightknit family, and it's a problem," Lyons said. "Now after he gets his second shot, it will open the door where maybe he can have a lot more visitors."
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