Debt of Gratitude
On Nov. 11, 1918, Allied nations and Germany signed an armistice to officially end World War 1. There is no one alive today to thank for their service in this war. The last known U.S. veteran of World War I was Frank Buckles who died Feb. 27, 2011, at the age of 110.
According to news reports, Buckles joined the Army at the age of only 16, admitting later that he lied to recruiters about his age in his effort to serve his country. He’d left his birth certificate back home in the family Bible believing God would forgive him this transgression. Several recruiters, fully aware of his youth, told him to get back home before his mother noticed he was gone. Finally, a recruiter relented and signed the young Buckles into service. In 1917, he was sent to Europe to serve in England and France, driving ambulances and motorcycles for the Army’s 1st Fort Riley Casualty Detachment. After the Armistice, he transported prisoners of war back to Germany.
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