Maj. Max Young (ret.), the oldest living Filipino Korean War veteran, celebrated his 99th birthday last July 30, thanking God after he recovered from severe pneumonia, not once, but four times early this year.
Young is concurrently the president of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK), of which former President Fidel Ramos, now 93, is a member.
From the original 7,420 PEFTOK troopers, only 174 are living as of today, all of them in their late ‘80s and ‘90s, Young said.
In an exclusive interview, Young said he was first rushed to the University of the East Medical Center in Quezon City gasping for breath on Feb. 3 this year, and was released a week later.
“But, again on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, I was back at the hospital, but was discharged a few days later only to be brought again on Feb. 20, and stayed at the hospital for a week,” he said.
“I thought everything was okay, but on March 27, I was again brought to the hospital when I was diagnosed with pneumonia by Dr. Isagani Rodriguez,” Young said.
During his back-and-forth to the hospital four times, his family, including nine children and 37 grandchildren and great grandchildren, prayed for the healing of Maj. Young, a decorated hero of the Korean War as tank commander during the Yultong fierce gun battle that earned him the highest military medal given by the South Korean government to a soldier for gallantry in combat.
The 99-year-old Young was also a guerrilla fighter during World War 2.
“I am looking forward to celebrating my 100th birthday in 2022 with God’s blessing.”