Alabama veteran who survived World War II and COVID-19 honored on his 105th birthday


In this photo provided by Holly McDonald, World War II veteran Major Wooten enjoys Thanksgiving dinner with his family in Madison, Ala., on Thursday, November 25, 2021. Wooten, who was served in France during the war, will be introduced to the French Legion of Honor at his 105th birthday party on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Holly McDonald via AP)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) – A World War II veteran from Alabama who survived COVID-19 last year will be honored Friday on his 105th birthday with the French Legion of Honor in recognition of service. his.

Major Wooten, who repaired bombed trains in France as a military man, will receive France’s highest ornamentation at a combined medal ceremony and birthday party in Huntsville, according to a statement by the agency. French Consulate in Atlanta and his niece, Holly McDonald.

“The Legion of Honor is bestowed upon French citizens as well as foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds, including individuals who have made professional contributions to the country, as well as those who veterans like Americans who risked their lives during World War II fighting on French soil,” the consulate’s announcement said.

The French Consul General in Atlanta, Vincent Hommeril, will decorate Wooten with the medal, approved by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Enlisted in 1943, Wooten landed in France in 1944 and was one of four brothers who served at the same time in the war. He served at Le Mans before being sent to work at a train station in Paris, according to a summary of his service from the French.

Wooten returned home in 1946 after the war and had a postwar career with US Steel in Birmingham. He tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020 after his daughter contracted the disease but recovered in time to spend 104th birthday at home.

Wooten is “doing well” despite his illness and participated in Veterans Day activities recently, McDonald said. The mental blurriness initially appeared after the illness disappeared, and his physical strength also recovered, she said.

“We really see an improvement after the therapy,” she says. Alabama veteran who survived World War II and COVID-19 honored on his 105th birthday


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