Our vanishing veterans

A little more than 5 years ago, on February 27, 2011, a gentleman by the name of Frank Buckles died at the age of 110 years. He was the last living American veteran from World War I.

It has been sixty years since Albert Henry Woolson passed on at the age of 106 years. He died on August 2, 1956 and was the last undisputed veteran of the Civil War, having fought on the Union side.

Lemuel Cook was one of the last remaining Revolutionary War veterans when he passed on May 20, 1866 at 106 years. He lived long enough to be photographed as an old man. He was one of only four Revolutionary War veterans to witness both the start of that war and the end of the Civil War.

We are now quickly losing our World War II veterans. A man who turned 18 in 1945, the year that war ended, will be turning 90 years old next year.

And our Vietnam War veterans are the age my grandparents were when I was a child. (I am now 46.) A man who turned 18 in 1975, the year we pulled our last troops out of Vietnam, turns 60 next year.

Gulf War veterans are now my age. Although we aren’t disappearing yet in large numbers, thankfully, we are old enough to be parents of grown children, and some of us are no doubt becoming grandparents.

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