J. Russell Coffey has passed away at the age of 109. He was one of the last three remaining WWI veterans alive in the United States. According to an Associated Press report: Other known surviving American soldiers are Frank Buckles, 106, in West Virginia, and Harry Landis, in Florida, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. According to an AP report, John Babcock, 107, of Spokane, Wash., served in the Canadian army and is the last known Canadian veteran of the war.
According to a an April 12 St. Pete Times Article about Landis: Coffey, the oldest known survivor, enlisted weeks before the war ended and never got out of training. A retired college teacher from Bowling Green State University, he gave up driving at 103. He now lives in a nursing home, where aides sometimes hold his hand so he can sign his name for autographs.
Even though some may point out that Mr. Coffey never was sent overseas, it is the spirit of his willingness to serve that should be honored equally to his two fellow soldiers that he preceeds in death.
If you see a a vet today in your rush to purchase last minute gifts or to pack to go on a journey, please don’t rush by them. Thank them for serving in the spirit. Mr. Coffey would have approved.1910s, Passings, wwi | Comment (0)