CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Corporal Robert Chase knows what it is like to be at war, but the COVID-19 virus is one battle he was not prepared to fight.
"Some days I get up and I feel like I’m a prisoner," says Robert Chase, a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps. "I have friends in the Marine Corps who make contact with me periodically, but I'm a prisoner."
The award-winning soldier who once traveled the world is now stuck at home and only able to leave the house for gas and groceries.
Chase says he's longing to return to the active life he had before quarantine but he needs the COVID-19 vaccine to do so safely.
"When I get my vaccination and I don’t have to worry about the virus, there are things that I want to do," says Chase.
Unfortunately, getting the vaccine has proven to be difficult.
"I’ve applied for the state lottery, the county lottery, and the Publix lottery and I’ve missed out on every single one of them," says Chase.
So he turned to the Lee County Veterans Affairs Clinic who currently offers COVID-19 vaccines for former soldiers but was turned away.
"I filled out paperwork because I had never been to the V.A., but they came back and said I'm not eligible," says Chase.
The revelation is shocking because Chase is 82-years-old and has the pre-existing condition of Parkinson's disease.
"My income, they said my income doesn’t fall into their rules," explains Chase.
Frustrated, the Corporal now sees Governor Ron DeSantis promising to open up access to the vaccine to more age groups and frontline workers.
Making it harder for Chase to get his shot at the vaccine. So all the veteran can do now is wait and pray that he will be granted a COVID-19 vaccine before it is too late.
"I don’t know how much time I have left, but I do want to make the most of the time I have here. I have a wife up there at the Sarasota National Cemetery. I want to make a trip up there and visit. We always used to have a restaurant up there we used to go to eat so I'll go up there and see her and reminisce at the same restaurant," says Chase.