Family of WWI veteran looks forward to 110th birthday





The family of Frank Buckles, the nation's lone living veteran of World War I, hopes he makes it to his 110th birthday about a month from now, despite troubling signs he is on the decline.

Buckles, who was born February 1, 1901, is thought to be the world's oldest living war veteran. Buckles has slowed down considerably in just the past two months, according to his daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan, who lives with him at the family home near Charles Town, in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. A family friend who visited two weeks ago says he is awake just a few hours a day.

"When he's awake, he's there with us," said David DeJonge, a Michigan portrait photographer who has spent the past decade documenting the final few veterans from the war that ended 92 years ago. With only one veteran left, DeJonge spends the remaining time helping Buckles represent the memory of his comrades.

Despite his advanced age, Buckles had been coming to Capitol Hill to try to persuade lawmakers to grant federal status to an existing World War I monument in Washington that was built in the 1930s. The monument currently honors only those who served from the District of Columbia....


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