108-year-old veteran to testify before Senate panel

The last surviving United States World War I veteran is scheduled to testify Thursday before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee, which is considering a bill to designate the District of Columbia War Memorial as the "National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial."

Frank Buckles, 108, served in both the First and Second World Wars. In 1917, he was only 16 years old when he joined the Army, skirting the 18 year minimum age requirement by telling a recruiter that his home state of Missouri didn't issue birth certificates.

In 1942, during the height of the Second World War, Buckles (pictured here) was captured by the Japanese and spent the next three years in a prison camp.

The bill under consideration was proposed by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Jim Webb (D-Va.), and its official title is the Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act.

Buckles is the honorary chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, which is seeking to place a memorial for the conflict on the National Mall, where the Second World War and the Vietnam War both have memorials.

The hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. in Dirksen Room 366.