Health care workers, first responders thank veteran who has cheered them on since March

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — Close to 100 health care workers, firefighters and police came to a local hospital to thank a Vietnam War veteran on Tuesday.

They thanked Joseph Duran for his service to his country and those on the COVID-19 front lines.

Since March, Duran has stood near the entrance of Centura Health St. Anthony’s North, waving an American Flag.

Tuesday was his final day.

“It’s amazing,” says Duran. “I’m overwhelmed — almost embarrassed.”

To show their appreciation, Duran was given, among other gifts, a wooden American flag with the medical symbol. The mayor of Westminster also showing gratitude. To end the farewell celebration, Duran was given a ride in a “Flight For Life” helicopter.

“Tomorrow,” adds Duran, “I’m going to relax. Quite a few (days) over 6 months.”

After taking a day off, Duran plans to resume waving that American flag in front of police and fire stations.

“He’s a part of our family,” says St. Anthony’s North C.E.O. Constance Schmidt. “We need to celebrate him!”

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