Thank You Mr. Buckles and all your Brothers in Arms. You represent the very best America has and had to offer, and represent a responsibility I long to see return. God Bless You Sir.Frank Buckles, who drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918 and came to symbolize a generation of embattled young Americans as the last of the World War I doughboys, died on Sunday at his home in Charles Town, W. Va. He was 110.
The Marines turned him down as under-age and under the required weight. The Navy didn’t want him either, saying he had flat feet. But the Army took him in August 1917 after he had lied about his age, and he volunteered to be an ambulance driver, hearing that that was the quickest path to service in France.
More than eight decades after World War I ended, Mr. Buckles retained images of his French comrades. And he thought back to the fate that awaited them.
“What I have a vivid memory of is the French soldiers — being in a small village and going in to a local wine shop in the evening,” he told a Library of Congress interviewer. “They had very, very little money. But they were having wine and singing the ‘Marseillaise’ with enthusiasm. And I inquired, ‘What is the occasion?’ They were going back to the front. Can you imagine that?”