Sunday, January 31, 2010

Frank's Birthday

February 1, 2010; is Frank's birthday.

Frank who? How old is he? Why am I writing about someone I do not know?

Frank W. Buckles was working for a shipping company in Manila, Philippines in the 1940's. The Japanese captured him in 1942 and he then spent the next three and a half years in the Los Banos prison camp. He was rescued on February 23, 1945.

Frank Buckles was honored by President Bush in March of 2008. He has testified before Congress. Congress gave special permission for him to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery whenever he dies.

So, who is he? Why single him out?

Frank Buckles is the last living Doughboy. The name of Doughboy was given to American Army soldiers in The Great War (WWI). Cpl. Buckles was born on 2/1/1901, and is now 109 years old. He has outlived every other American soldier from WWI. His trips to Washington D.C. have been for the purpose of getting a memorial to those who fought in WWI built on the mall in Washington.

When America joined the fight in Europe during April of 1917, Frank tried to enlist. He kept being sent back home as they would not believe he was 18, as he claimed. He was only 16. Since that stretch of age was not working, he tried a new tactic. The next recruiter asked him is age and he claimed to be 21. He was welcomed into the Army.

He has been interviewed many times for various magazines and newspapers. During an interview with The Washington Post, he was asked what was his secret to such a long life. His answer was "Hope". He then added, "when you start to die...don't."

Happy birthday, Cpl. Frank W. Buckles.

Information is from

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