The last US World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, died yesterday at 110 years old. He was 16 when he enlisted, lying about his age to four different recruiting agents until finally one of them accepted him. He wanted to fight for his country, to fight with honor, to be a part of history. Finding this out this morning reminded me of something that happened about a week ago.
I was witness to a very touching scene at my doctor's office. An old man was sitting in the waiting room waiting for his appointment. Another elderly gentleman came up and starting talking to him.
"They tell me you were in World War II", he said.
"yes, I was" the man replied.
"I missed it by two years" the first added, reaching out to shake his hand.
They spoke for just a few minutes, finding out that both had been in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. They only spoke for a few minutes.
As they chatted, my eyes filled with tears. I was watching them bond in a way that only those who have shared the same dedication, the same trauma, the same sacrifices, can bond. I watched and I wished that there was some tangible way that I could let them know that I appreciated their willingness to leave home and safety to help right wrongs and to keep us safe.
In the end, I didn't say or do anything. I don't know that it mattered to the two of them. I think they left that office with a little warm glow from the meeting and sharing of memories. But in the end, even though I'm sure they are not among my eighteen blogging friends, I wanted to share this with you... and thank them in writing for their service to our country.
Thank you Frank Buckles and all who have served.