Frank Buckles

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Buckles talking with American Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

Frank Woodruff Buckles (February 1, 1901February 27, 2011) was, at age 110, the last known surviving American-born veteran of the First World War.


  • I didn't lie; nobody calls me a liar, I may have increased my age.
    • Joking on joining the Army at age 15.
    • CNN March 8, 2008.
  • I feel honored.
    • On being received by George W. Bush for an opening of an exhibit.
    • CNN March 8, 2008.
  • An old sergeant said, if you want to get to France in a hurry, then join the ambulance service, the French are big for ambulance service.
    • On how he came to driving ambulances.
    • Tampa Bay Online.
  • I had many different assignments and I was doing things that I thought were important... no, I didn't either: I didn't think they were important. But I found out afterwards when I read up on my history that some of the things that I did were quite important.
    • Tampa Bay Online.
  • I think General Pershing was the most military figure I’ve ever seen.
    • On meeting General John Pershing
  • I gave the general a snappy salute.
    • On meeting General John Pershing
    • Knoxville News.
  • I was gung-ho, no question about that.
    • On his role in the war
  • My job driving the ambulance was not very severe, you did what you were supposed to do. That was my main job.
    • On his Job in WWI
  • Why should I read something someone made up when real events are so interesting?
    • On why he does not read fiction books.
    • Tampa Bay Online.
  • Longevity has never bothered me at all, I have studied longevity for years.
    • On his long life.
    • Knoxville News.
  • If your country needs you, you should be right there, that is the way I felt when I was young, and that's the way I feel today.
    • On service in the Army
    • Knoxville News.
  • One day, I came in and she was on the telephone. She was quite pale. She told me that I wouldn't believe what was going on. She was being watched. She said she would not be able to invite me for tea again. She was a nice Jewish lady.
    • On his travels to Nazi Germany in the 1930's.
    • Knoxville News.
  • Some of our German passengers on the ship would be crying. The Brits were the same way. They were crying, because they realized a new war was about to break out across Europe, with Hitler at the head of the goose-stepping parade.
    • Problems prior to WWII.
    • Knoxville News.
  • In the Philippines in those last months, it was perfect starvation. They had planned to starve us to death.
    • On treatment in Japanese prison camps
    • Knoxville News.
  • I don't know anyone my age.
    • On his age
    • Knoxville News.
  • When you start to die, don’t.
    • Secret to a long life
    • New York Times
    • Gail Collins, Op-Ed
    • August 14, 2009.

About Frank Buckles[edit]

  • We cherish the chance to say thank you in person to Cpl. Frank Buckles.
    • Defense Secretary Robert Gates, before unveiling a picture of Buckles
    • CNN March 8, 2008.
  • Mr. Buckles has a vivid recollection of historic times, and one way for me to honor the service of those who wear the uniform in the past and those who wear it today is to herald you, sir, and to thank you very much for your patriotism and your love for America.

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