Thursday, July 05, 2007

He Was Looking For a Fight

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."

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]
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.

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