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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — He was repeatedly rejected by military recruiters and got into uniform at age 16 after lying about his age. But Frank Buckles would later become the last surviving U.S. veteran of Wold War I.
A family spokesman says Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died of natural causes Sunday at his home in West Virginia. He was 110.
Buckles had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of the Great War in the nation's capital.
When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last of his kind, he said simply, "I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me." And he told The Associated Press he would have done it all over again, "without a doubt."
More than 4.7 million people joined the U.S. military from 1917-18. As of spring 2007, only three were still alive, according to a tally by the Department of Veterans Affairs: Buckles, J. Russell Coffey of Ohio and Harry Richard Landis of Florida.
Originally posted by simples
I don't mean to be disrespectful to this guy as he's a very brave sole, but surly the US can't have that many WW1 vets as the Americans didn't really join the WW's till the dieing years of world war 2.
Late as always!
There are two living verified veterans of World War I (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918). Both are from the Allies. The last Central Powers veteran, Franz Künstler of Austria-Hungary, died on 27 May 2008 at the age of 107. The total number of participating personnel is estimated by the Encyclopaedia Britannica at 65,038,810. There were approximately 9,750,103 military deaths during the conflict. Veterans, for this purpose, are defined as people who were members of the armed forces of one of the combatant nations up to and including the date of the Armistice. Other World War I-era veterans are listed separately. This policy may vary from the policy in actual use in some countries.
The last surviving veteran of World War I per country is shown in the table below, along with any living veterans.