Last U.S. Veteran of WWI Dies at 110

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The last American veteran to serve in World War I has died in W. Virginia. Frank Buckles died at his home Sunday at the age of 110.

Buckles was just 16 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1917. He tried tried several times to enlist before he was able to find a recruiter who would believe he was 18.

Buckles served mostly as an ambulance driver in England and France. He never saw combat, but he was later taken prisoner of war in the Philippines as a civilian during World War II.

In later life, Buckles worked tirelessly for a World War I memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

"He was sad it's not completed," Charles DeJonge, Buckles biographer and family spokesman said Monday. "It's a simple straightforward thing to do, to honor Americans."

When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last of his kind, Buckles said simply, "I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me."

He told The Associated Press he would have done it all over again, "without a doubt."

Details for funeral services and arrangements will be announced later this week, but DeJonge said Buckles' daughter, Susannah Flanagan, is planning for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

The family asked that donations be made to the National World War 1 Legacy Project. The project is managed by the nonprofit Survivor Quest and will educate students about Buckles and WWI through a documentary and traveling educational exhibition.

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