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A hundred-ten year old soldier was interred in Arlington Cemetery today.
Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles now sleeps nigh his comrades in sacred clay,
Awaiting that glorious morn when Gabriel's bugle will sound that final call,
To fall in for the last calling of the roll! Corporal Buckles will be standing tall!
"Taps" was played echoing far beyond the hills of Arlington into the misty past,
Reminding all of brave men who were destined to die or were horribly gassed!
Courageous men who willingly placed national destiny above their very own,
To ensure that our precious and hard-won freedoms would ne'er be overthrown!
Only sixteen, he lied about his age trying to join the navy and marines with no luck,
And was told, "Go home before your Mom knows you're gone, you young buck!"
He told a bigger whopper telling the army recruiter he was all of twenty-one!
The sergeant, looking for warm bodies signed him up, thence the deal was done!
He was promoted to corporal and served with distinction as an ambulance driver.
After serving in France, he was honorably discharged, returning a heroic survivor!
As a civilian he was a prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines but was kept alive,
And was rescued after three years in Los Banos prison camp in nineteen forty-five.
He proudly represented the 'doughboys' of The Great War as last man standing.
So much, so very much to him we owe for his service was most outstanding!
That venerable symbol of America, the majestic Golden Eagle, cried,
On the day that the old veteran, Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles died!
(Corporal Buckles, the last American survivor of World War 1, died 27 February 2011, at the age of 110)
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
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