Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Last Doughboy............

Today is Veteran's Day and my fellow bloggers have covered thanking all of the men and women who have worn the uniform in their country's service much better than I could have. I wanted to look at this day from a different angle.

How many of you have ever heard of a man named Frank Woodruff Buckles? Mr. Buckles lives with his daughter in Charles Town, West Virgina. He was born in 1901 which would make him 109 years old. That in and of it's self would make Mr. Buckles someone of interest but what makes him even more noteworthy is that he is the last surviving American who served in World War I. Mr. Buckles lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Army and was shipped overseas in 1917. He served in England, France and in occupied Germany as an Ambulance driver and prison guard.

Mr. Buckles adventures didn't end after World War I and his discharge from the army. He ended up working as a purser for a shipping line and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You see, he was working in Manila Harbor in 1942 when the Japanese Army captured the Philippines and he spent the next three years in a prison camp. After being liberated in 1945, Mr. Buckles led mostly a quiet life as a farmer still driving his own tractor until he turned 102. These days, he has slowed down and his last wish is that the country build a monument to all the servicemen that served in what was optimistically called "The War to End All Wars"

So today, take a moment and remember Mr. Frank Buckles, the lone survivor of America's generation of warriors who fought to make the world safe for democracy in World War I.

No comments: