Frank Buckles has passed. He finished his work in this life last Sunday. He was 110 years old.
In 1901, he was born in a Missouri farmhouse on the first day of February. He lied to recruiters to get into the Army and he went to war in the War to End All Wars. He served as an ambulance driver with the First Fort Riley Casual Detachment. Later, the Veterans Administration declared him the last surviving soldier of the Great War.
Frank Buckles lived an amazing life.
You would think that once a soldier returns from war, he has earned the right to an easy time after such service. Frank Buckles was not that type of man. He went on to work as a merchant seaman and then for a shipping company at the start of World War II. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they next journeyed to the Philippines and Buckles became a prisoner for more than three years.
Returning from the second world war, he married. He and his wife, Audrey, had a daughter, Susannah. He eventually returned home to his native West Virginia where he and his wife purchased a farm. She died in 1999 and he continued working the farm actively, actually driving his tractor until the age of 106.
Now, Frank Buckles has joined his company. They were there waiting, standing at parade rest, at the ready, and he has joined them once again.
Gentlemen, thank you for your service. It is time to stand easy.
© 2011 J. Clark