These centenarian veteran sisters are using technology to stay in touch amid COVID-19

Julia LeDoux
May 15, 2020 - 9:52 am

Department of Veterans Affairs

At 105 years old, Meta Monteleon is the nation’s oldest Army nurse veteran.

And she’s not letting something like the COVID-19 pandemic stop her from talking to her 100-year-old sister, Virginia Dupree Phillips.

The sisters, both World War II veterans, use FaceTime to chat with each other, a blog post on VA Advantage reports.  

Monteleon is a resident at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin. Ga., while Phillips resides at a nursing home in Raleigh, N.C. 

“It was wonderful talking to my sister. I’ve wanted to get in touch with her for a long time,” said Monteleon. “I was born in 1914 and we’ve come a long way when it comes to keeping in touch.” 

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According to the blog, staffers at Vinson have been preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic since early March to protect its 136 Community Living Center (CLC) residents, domiciliary veterans, and employees. An emergency operations center has been activated and safety measures have been put into place to protect those most vulnerable to contracting the virus. 

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Department of Veterans Affairs

Safety measures to protect CLC Veterans include a temporary ban on outside visitors and temperature checks throughout the day. Due to VA’s modernization investments, CLCs are using single-bed rooms that provide privacy and isolation. The staff isolates CLC residents who run a temperature to mitigate the spread of possible contagion. 

“I think we’re lucky to be as safe as we are,” said Monteleon, a retired nurse with a half-century of health care experience.   

She is set to turn 106 in August.

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