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I Have Issues (A Political Blog)
Coverage and opinion of political and social issues, as well as commentary on local, state and world news and coverage of the ongoing 2008 political campaign.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Last living U.S. WWI vet is W.Va. man

a bit off topic, but interesting.
From AP:

TAMPA, Fla. - Harry Richard Landis, who enlisted in the Army in 1918 and was one of only two known surviving U.S. veterans of World War I, has died. He was 108.
The remaining U.S. veteran is Frank Buckles, 107, of Charles Town, W.Va., according the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, John Babcock of Spokane, Wash., 107, served in the Canadian army and is the last known Canadian veteran of the war.

Tampa Bay Online has a story:

"In 1917 – more than 90-years ago -- the United States entered the Great Conflict in Europe. Sixteen-year-old Frank Buckles decided he wanted in, too. He figured he could fib about his age; say he's 18. But the Army recruiter told him, "No good: you need to be 21." So he kept shopping around until finally, he found a recruiter who believed him when he said his home state of Missouri didn't keep birth records when he was born; it's back home on the farm, an entry in the family Bible.

Soon, young Frank was "Over There" in England. His ultimate goal was France where the action was. It took him a while but eventually he made it, thanks to some sage advice."

USA Today profiled him last year.

(Photo: Frank Buckles at 103 years old wearing his French military decoration, the Legion of Honor for an interview with the US Library of Congress.)