MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Robert Coles of Machias is home recovering from what he is calling a mild heart attack.
NEWS CENTER had the honor of following Coles to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, last December for the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack that launched us into World War II.
Coles, 93, was not feeling well on the morning of Oct. 5 so he called his friend Dennis Boyd. With the help from Boyd, Coles was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Coles spent eight days in the hospital before being released.
“There's no question about it, that old cliche, there's no place like home,” Coles said. “I'm in pretty good shape … I'm well looked after. Yeah, I'm in fine shape.”
Coles lives alone in his house in Machias. He said a good group of people looks after him, like his longtime friend, Boyd.
While we were there, we asked him about the recent controversy over athletes not standing for the national anthem.
"I believe in free speech. I believe in protest. But I believe there's a way of doing it and they're doing it the wrong way," Coles said. "When the anthem is being played, stand up and pay respects to your country and your flag. When it's over, then you can give your protest but don't do it when we're having our special moment for this country."
Coles told NEWS CENTER he feels so good that he expects to be around for the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
► Watch the 30 minutes special on Robert Coles' return trip to Pearl Harbor: "Return to Pearl Harbor Special"