At 106, Frank Buckles is the youngest of three surviving American World War I veterans. He tried to sign up with the Marines when he was 16, telling them he was 18. They told him he was too young, so he tried again a week later.
"I went back to the recruiting sergeant, and this time I was 21," he said with a grin. "I passed the inspection ... but he told me I just wasn't heavy enough."He was too old to serve in the military in World War II, but managed to get captured by the Japanese while on a business trip to the Philippines, and spent 3 1/2 years as a civilian POW.
Then he tried the Navy, whose recruiter told Buckles he was flat-footed.
Still, Buckles would not quit. In Oklahoma City, an Army captain demanded a birth certificate.
"I told him birth certificates were not made in Missouri when I was born, that the record was in a family Bible. I said, 'You don't want me to bring the family Bible down, do you?"' Buckles said with a laugh. "He said, 'OK, we'll take you."' [Link]