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WWII veteran celebrates 101st birthday at VA hospital

The Washington veteran was visiting his daughter when he fell ill and was taken to the Columbia VA Hospital.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia hosted a special birthday party for a World War II Veteran who turned 101-years-old.

Dr. Patrick McClain, who lives in Shoreline, Washington, was visiting his daughter Virginia with his son William when he fell ill. He was taken to Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, where a party was held for him Friday. 

His family was able to watch his celebration virtually through a donation of a Facebook Portal, TV (to act as a monitor) and a stand, which can be wheeled around for veterans to stay connected with their families and loved ones.

RELATED: New iPads at Dorn VA help veterans in hospice, nursing homes see family

Street Squad had a chance to chat with the veteran via Facebook Portal.

Dr. McClain's social worker asked him, "Do you feel older than yesterday?" to which he replied,“I feel the same.”

Credit: Columbia VA Hospital

Dr. McClain served in the Army and was a prisoner of war during the second World War. “There were some pretty close calls but I lucked out," he says. His daughter Virginia told us he was a P.O.W. and was also on a train when the allies blew up a car near him. Nevertheless, he made it.

Dr. McClain then made a career as a dentist for almost 40 years. He graduated dental school in 1950 and retired in 1989.

RELATED: Veteran plans surprise to thank VA healthcare workers

Credit: McClain Family

When asked what his secret was, Dr. McClain didn’t know at first. After thinking it through he says,“Don’t live a bad life. Get good sleep, eat well, behave yourself. You know there’s really no advice. You’ve just got to do it.”

And what’s next for him? “I want to get my balance back so I can swing a golf club.”

Dr. McClain hopes to return home to Washington where his other son Owen lives in the next few weeks. 

Happy 101st birthday, Dr. McClain!

RELATED: Columbia VA lends a helping hand to veterans struggling with mental health through virtual sessions