Where are the World War I Vets ???

Discussion in 'Remembering' started by rainvet, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    VA Searching for Last Doughboys of World War I Only Four Believed Still Alive.

    WASHINGTON (April 4, 2007) -- With the number of known living American veterans of World War I now standing at four, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking public assistance in determining whether othersare still alive.

    "These veterans have earned the gratitude and respect of the nation," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "We are coming to theend of a generation that helped bring the United States to the center of the international arena."

    Nicholson noted that VA usually knows about the identity and location of veterans only after they come to the Department for benefits. None of the four known surviving World War I veterans has been on the VA benefits rolls.

    The Secretary asks members of the general public who know of a surviving World War I veteran to contact VA. To qualify as a World War I veteran, someone must have been on active duty between April 6, 1917 and Nov. 11, 1918. VA is also looking for surviving Americans who served in the armed forces of allied nations.

    About 4.7 million men and women served in the U.S. armed forces during World War I. About 53,000 died in combat, with another 204,000 wounded.

    The four known surviving World War I veterans are John Babcock, 102, from Puget Sound, Wash.; Frank Buckles, 106, Charles Town, W.Va.; Russell Coffey, 108, North Baltimore, Ohio; and Harry Landis, 107, Sun City Center, Fla.

    Babcock is an American who served in the Canadian Army. The other three survivors were in the U.S. Army.

    Information about survivors can be e-mailed to [email protected]; faxed to 202-273-6702, or mailed to the Office of Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs (80), 810 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20420.
  2. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    I recently heard that there is just one remaining veteran of WWI...a Frenchman. The last American died the other day at age 110.
  3. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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  4. Guarango

    Guarango New Member

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    WWI Vets

    I saw a program in England last year about the WWI vets. They interviewed a few of the last ones left. There qere two English and one French and I think they even interviewed an American Doe Boy. The origram was on the BBC 1 Network. They might know where to locate them as they have a large research department. If there any Yanks left alive and they never registered with the VA and have disabilities... wel hell,,, the VA probably owe them about a million dollars in back pay.:D
  5. Guarango

    Guarango New Member

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    WW I Vets

    By the way men... Isn't Knewhart a WW I vet???
  6. nurseflo

    nurseflo Member

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    I took care of one of the no longer with us WWI vets.He died about 5 years ago he was over 100 years old.He was a cute little sweetie!!!!! He still flirted with all of that took care of him and invited the lady residents to his room.I still miss him.He was a real rascal.He got an award while he was with us.Something like being in France at the very end of the war.
  7. nurseflo

    nurseflo Member

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    Hey Rainman, It's really nice to see you back on.I missed you and worried about you.You've been in my prayers.
  8. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    That was the Civil War, Frank. I was too old to serve in WWI.
  9. Guarango

    Guarango New Member

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    I stand corrected Knewheart. Ya still look pretty young fer a civil war vet. I bet yer C file at the VA has a wooden cover. They hadn't invented cardboard files yet. Lol
  10. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    France Honors Last World War I Veteran

    "France unfurled its military majesty yesterday in honor of its last World War I veteran, Lazare Ponticelli, who died last week at age 110, and the 8.4 million other Frenchmen who served in the conflict. President Nicholas Sarkozy unveiled a plaque at Les Invalides, the gold-domed edifice where Napoleaon I is buried, to honor Ponticelli and other Frenchmen who served in the war."

    (source: The Baltimore Sun, Tue, March 18, 2008)
  11. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    Last known surviving U.S. World War I veteran to be honored by Congress

    CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Frank Woodruff Buckles is about to get another feather in his cap, this time from Congress.

    Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole are scheduled to honor the 107-year-old Jefferson County resident and last-known surviving U.S. World War I veteran today at the U.S. Capitol, according to officials with Rockefeller’s and Byrd’s offices.

    The event will start at 2 p.m. in the LBJ Room, according to a news release from Byrd’s office.


    Buckles also will be presented with an American flag that flew over the Capitol on Flag Day, Byrd’s office said.

    Buckles, who lives at his Gap View Farm along old W.Va. 9 just west of Charles Town, was one of more than 2 million U.S. military members sent overseas to fight in World War I.

    Since becoming the only known surviving American World War I veteran, Buckles has been honored at various events, including ceremonies March 6 when he was honored at the Pentagon and the White House. He is giving about an interview a day, according to family members.

    Gov. Joe Manchin recently honored Buckles by naming a section of the new four-lane W.Va. 9 after him.

    Buckles joined the Army at 15, and was an ambulance driver in France and England.
  12. Guarango

    Guarango New Member

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    Buckles is a living National Monument and should be treated as such. He out ranks us all.
  13. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    The Last WWI Veteran

    Military.Com
    Week of June 23, 2008

    U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) introduced a resolution honoring Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I. The measure authorizes Mr. Buckles to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda upon his death. By order of the President, he will then be interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. For more information on Mr. Buckles, visit the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project, the White House website, and the Department of Defense's The Great War website.
  14. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    AMVETS Riders visit last World War I survivor
    By Tom Mitchell
    LEADER TIMES
    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Buzz up!


    CHARLES TOWN (W.Va.) -- At age 106, Frank Buckles is the last surviving soldier of World War I. That alone was enough for two groups of AMVETS Riders to pay him due respect. However, the riders visiting Buckles on July 5 learned that he's done some things in his life that most can't begin to imagine, like riding little known vintage motorcycles.
    Among 16 riders who visited Buckles on his Charles Town, W.Va. farm, were two members of Kittanning AMVETS Riders Post 13, a group of 13 AMVETS Riders from Tennessee, and a member of the Lakeway Warriors (Tenn.) Christian Motorcyclists Association.

    Two local area riders paying their respects were Marge and Vic "Dutch" Stivason of Sugarcreek. Vic Stivason is AMVETS Riders state president. The Stivasons rode about 200 miles on their bikes to meet with Tennessee riders, who traveled about 400 miles to meet Buckles.

    "This man is 106, and that in itself is amazing," said Vic Stivason. "But up until a few years ago, he worked on the family's 300-plus acre farm, drove himself to appointments and pretty much managed his own affairs."

    Buckles told Stivason and other riders about his experiences riding on two wheels. He said he rode an Excelsior motorcycle, a brand first made in the late 1800s, and later A Royal Enfield, made in the 1920s or 1930s. He said he was 11 years old when the Titanic sank. Just four years later, he lied about his age to enlist in the Army to fight in World War I.
    "One of the things I asked Mr. Buckles was about the vintage bikes' speed. He just smiled and said, 'They went very fast.' He has a very sharp memory, and was fascinating to talk with," Stivason said.

    During the visit the Tennessee AMVETS Riders presented Buckles with a leather vest with AMVETS Rider patches and a one-of-a-kind, custom made World War I patch. He was given a "Biker's Bible" by the Christian Motorcyclists Association. The Stivasons gave him a framed plaque and a certificate of appreciation for his service to the nation.

    One of the highlights of the visit was when one of Buckles daughters brought out a battered metal cup. Buckles told the riders that during World War II he worked as a civilian contractor in the Philippines. Just after the Japanese invaded the islands, he was taken prisoner and held in the Los Banos Internment Camp on the Island of Luzon.

    "He passed the cup around for all of us to see and told us that it was his sole eating and drinking utensil the entire time he was a prisoner," Stivason said.

    On Feb. 23, 1945, Buckles, along with several American and British civilians, and more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers were liberated from the camp by the 11th Airborne Division.

    "Visiting Mr. Buckles was the opportunity of a lifetime," Stivason said. "AMVETS and AMVETS Riders is not only about serving veterans but it's about honoring those who served too. It's totally awesome to think that we were honored to meet the last surviving soldier of World War I.
  15. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    WORLD WAR I MEMORIAL: More than nine decades after driving ambulances on the battlefields of Europe, 107-year-old Frank Woodruff Buckles is the nation's last known survivor of World War I. Now he's also become the face of an ambitious campaign to erect a national memorial honoring the 4.6 million Americans who endured "the war to end all wars.'' Buckles was the celebrity participant at a news conference 9 SEP to unveil plans for a National World War I Memorial on Washington's National Mall. It would be midway between memorials already there to World War II and the Korean War. Planners envision refurbishing and expanding an existing memorial that President Herbert Hoover dedicated in 1931 to honor World War I veterans from the District of Columbia. That circular open-air Doric structure, ravaged by time and neglect, is tucked among trees at the southern edge of the Mall and often is ignored or overlooked by tourists. It was named as one of Washington's most endangered places in 2003 and 2006.

    Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) has introduced the Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act to renovate the memorial and rededicate it as a national shrine in 2018, when America observes the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Buckles said the 21st-century commitment was needed to make the memorial "what it should be'' by honoring all who'd gone before him. "I just feel there should be some recognition,'' he said. Buckles was born in 1901 in Harrison County, Mo. He lied about his age to enlist, telling a skeptical recruiter that Missouri didn't keep birth records when he was born. He was dispatched to England, then France, where he served as an ambulance driver. After the armistice, he delivered German POWs back to their home country. Buckles spent the next 20 years as a merchant seaman before he was entangled in another world war. He was working in the Philippines in 1941 and was captured by the Japanese shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He spent the next three and a half years in Japanese prison camps. After World War II, he returned to the United States, married and settled down on a 33-acre West Virginia farm, where he still lives. His wife died in 1999.

    The D.C. Preservation League and a newly formed World War I Memorial Foundation will take the lead in planning, designing and raising money. Refurbishing the monument is expected to cost just under $1 million but planners said it was too early to project a total cost. The circular memorial, composed of Vermont marble, was intended as a bandstand for memorial concerts to World War I participants. It stands on a 4-foot-high circular marble platform around which are inscribed the names of the 499 Washington residents who died in the war. Planners said they hoped to pay for much of the work through private donations. One priority, they said, will be to preserve and improve the existing monument as a "place of peace and reflection'' without trying to rival or surpass the scope of more opulent monuments such as the World War II Memorial. [Source: McClatchy Newspapers Dave Montgomery article 9 Sep 08 ++]
  16. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    President Bush Welcomes Frank Woodruff Buckles

    President George W. Bush welcomes Cpl. Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last known surviving American-born WWI veteran, to the Oval Office Thursday, March 6, 2008. The President told the 107-year-old, "...One way for me to honor the service of those who wear the uniform in the past and those who wear it today is to herald you, sir, and to thank you very much for your patriotism and your love for America."








    (click on image to enlarge)
  17. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    107-Year-Old WWI Vet Dies

    107-Year-Old WWI Vet Dies
    Robley Rex Last WWI Veteran In Ky.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kentucky's last surviving World War I veteran has passed away.

    Robley Rex died Tuesday. He was 107 years old.

    Rex has been honored by the governor for his volunteerism and as a Bell Award winner and Hometown Hero

    Many believe Rex was the last living WWI veteran in the country.

    He enlisted in the United States Army in 1919 and served for three years.

    His wife, Grace, passed away in 1992. They had no children, but his friends and fellow veterans were family to him.

    At the VA hospital, Rex received the respect and admiration reserved for a five star general.

    After his time in the military, Rex dedicated his life to helping fellow veterans. He began volunteering nearly 40 years ago. He was always decked out in white VFW ball caps as he zipped around the hospital, running errands, dropping off mail and stopping to visit.

    Throughout the years, Rex was a fixture at veterans' events.

    "Mr. Rex's capacity for serving his fellow citizens was truly an inspiration to all who knew him. He was a caring individual who consistently went out of his way to help others. His thoughtfulness, cheerfulness and sense of humor were treasures to those of us who had the privilege of knowing and/or working with him," director of the Louisville VAMC Wayne Pfeffer said in a release Tuesday.

    Last year at his 107th birthday party, Rex was honored with the Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service.

    "You've all heard the Psalm, 'God will take care of you.' Now you see the fellow that God has taken care of, it's me, Robley Rex," Rex said at the time.

    Rex died peacefully in his sleep, just four days before his 108th birthday.
  18. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    Kentucky's Last WWI Veteran Dies at Age 107

    Kentucky's Last WWI Veteran Dies at Age 107
    Friday, 08 May 2009
    Hopkins County, KY - Flags will be flying at half-staff Monday in honor of the passing of Kentucky's last surviving World War I-era veteran, Robley Henry Rex of Louisville.

    Mr. Robley H. Rex would have celebrated his 108th birthday this month and joined the U.S. Army in May 1919 shortly after his 18th birthday just six months after fighting ended. He served in a military intelligence unit at 3rd Army Headquarters in Germany and a boxer. Mr. Rex farmed in Daviess County, KY before moving to Louisville where he eventually retired as a railroad postal clerk. He was a member fo the American Legion for 75 years and active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mr. Rex logged more than 14,000 hours during his 22 years as a volunteer in the Louisville VA Medical Center. He ran for chaplain in 1998 and was honored at the VFW's national convention in 2008.

    Services will be Monday May 11th and Governor Steve Beshear has directed that all flags at state buildings throughout the state to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on that day. All business owners, organizations, and individuals in Kentucky are asked to do the same.




    Robley H. Rex of Louisville is a 25-year member of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and considered a champion among volunteers for his many years of service to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Louisville. A United States Army veteran, Robley began his volunteer service to his fellow service members at the national landmark Nichols General Army Hospital in southern Jefferson County. In more than 70 years of volunteer
    service, he has given more than 13,000 hours of his time and helped an estimated 60,000 patients at the Louisville VA hospital. For decades, Rex was often the only advocate for veterans and their families in southwest Jefferson County. With his talent for details, Rex managed to cut through red tape to help veterans and their widows or children access medical services or survivor benefits. A team of drivers helps him get to the homes of veterans and their families when crisis situations arise and the drivers help him get to the VA Medical Center for his scheduled duties in the Escort Office.

    Rex also has served with food commodities disbursement at the Newburg Community Center. He is the founder of the VFW Okolona Post where he has served as chaplain and commander and was honored by having a building addition at the post named after him. His service and volunteer leadership have inspired other veterans to find ways they can help their communities. Rex continues to visit and encourage fellow vets at the VA hospital while receiving his own medical care. He serves on the VA Volunteer Services Committee and attends meetings regularly.

    A multiple award winner for service on and off the battlefield, Robley is beloved for his quick wit, magical smile and unfailing kindness. Robley Rex is Kentucky’s only surviving WWI-era veteran, a sergeant first-class who served his country in active duty from 1919 to 1922. He celebrated his 107th birthday May 2.
  19. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    Kentucky's Last Surviving WWI Veteran Dies

    Posted: May 10, 2009 03:39 PM EDT

    The Governor has ordered all flags at state office buildings be lowered to half staff Monday in honor of Kentucky's last surviving WWI era veteran. Robley Henry Rex of Louisville died at the age of 108.

    Rex was one of 84,000 Kentuckians to serve in France and Germany. He shipped out to Germany in 1918 and remained there until March of 1920. He was discharged from the military three years later and started his career in the postal service. He retired in 1966.

    Private services for Robley Rex are scheduled for Monday.
  20. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    British WWI veteran becomes world's oldest man

    British WWI veteran becomes world's oldest man
    By Michael Thurston – 15 hours ago

    LONDON (AFP) — British World War I veteran Henry Allingham was named Friday as the world's oldest man after the death of the Japanese record holder -- and his spokesman said he would "take it in his stride."

    Guinness World Records said 113-year-old Allingham, who was born in Clapham, south London, on June 6 1896, took over the mantle after Tomoji Tanabe died at his home in southern Japan earlier in the day.

    "It's staggering. He (Allingham) is philosophical. He will take it in his stride, like he does everything else," said Allingham's spokesman, Dennis Goodwin.

    "He withdraws in himself and he chews it over like he does all the things he has done in his life. That's his secret I think".

    Allingham has lived in three different centuries, seen six British monarchs on the throne, and has five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.

    An air force mechanic, he saw active service in the Battle of Jutland in World War I and was one of the founding members of the Royal Air Force. He is one of only two surviving veterans in Britain of the 1914-18 conflict.

    Events he has lived through include the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the invention of television by John Logie Baird in the 1920s and the Wall Street crash of 1929.

    In March, he was awarded France's Legion d'Honneur award -- and voiced hope for the end of military conflict. "There will be no more wars, I hope. There will be one big nation," he said. "It's a tragedy you can never forget."

    His Japanese predecessor as the world's oldest man passed away with his relatives at his bedside, said an official in Miyakonojo City, where he lived. He had suffered from a chronic heart problem.

    When Tanabe turned 113 on September 18, he said the secret to his longevity was a big appetite but a strict diet, together with avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and snacks.

    After Allingham, the world's next oldest man is the oldest living American, Walter Breuning, who was born on September 21, 1896, according to Damian Field of Guinness World Records.

    The world's oldest known person is 115-year-old Gertrude Baines who lives in Los Angeles.

    Allingham, who lives in a care home for blind former armed services staff near Brighton, on the southern English coast, is one of three surviving Britons from World War I.

    Another, Harry Patch, was also awarded the Legion d'Honneur in March. He celebrated his 111th birthday on Wednesday. The other survivor, 107-year-old Claude Choules, now lives in Australia.

    Nigel Huxtable of the the Royal Naval Assocation -- of which Allingham is an honorary lifetime member -- welcomed Friday's news.

    "Our association members are thrilled to share his good news. We are delighted that he is now the oldest man in the world and look forward to him stretching his life even further," he said.

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