Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Veterans Day visit with the last Doughboy, Frank Buckles

Today I was able to take this old veteran of the trenches of the Great War, my 32nd Division M.1917, and go down the valley and across the river to visit Mr. Frank Buckles, America's sole surviving veteran of The Great War.

The helmet brought back memories of Mr. Buckles 11 months "over there".

(photo: David DeJonge)                          

to see a glimpse of the visit click here.

A hale and hearty Frank Buckles in 1917.   Today, at 108 years of age Mr. Buckles is a delightful person and a gracious host.  It was a real pleasure to visit him, and such a surprise to find that he lives only 25 minutes from my door!

 Following Armistice Day, Mr. Buckles enjoyed a prosperous career working for various steamship lines and in that capacity ended up in the Philippines in 1941.  Although no longer a fighting man, Mr. Buckles was imprisioned by the Japanese and held, under grueling conditions, until his rescue in 1945 by those doughboys of a later generation, the American G.I.s

Happy Veterans Day Mr. Buckles!

To learn more about Mr. Buckles and the World War One Memorial restoration efforts, link here