“Survivor Quest” Organization Lauches WW1 Commemorative Coin Project – Deadline August 29

Challenge Coins

The non-profit organization Survivor Quest has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of two commemorative coins honoring the late Harry Patch, last living British WW1 “Tommy”, and the late Frank Buckles, last American Doughboy of World War 1.

The goal of the campaign, which expires on August 29, 2014,  is to raise $2000 in start-up funds through the advance sales of individual coins.  To learn more about the  project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

“Pershing’s Last Patriot” Documentary Film Nears Completion

American Doughboy Frank Buckles.

American Doughboy Frank Buckles.

Documentary film maker Dave DeJonge of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is preparing to release a new film on the life of Frank Buckles, the last surviving American Doughboy.  Buckles, who passed away at the age of 110 in 2011, enlisted in the Army in 1917 and served as a ambulance driver on the Western Front.

DeJonge embarked on the documentary project in 2006 with the idea of filming the last American veterans of World War I; among the handful he was able to interview was Frank Buckles.  Over the succeeding years, DeJonge worked closely with the Buckles family and his film will tell Frank’s life story focusing not solely on his experiences in the First World War, but also World War II in which he survived being a prisoner in the Philippines  at the hands of the Japanese.

“Pershing’s Last Patriot” is nearly complete according to DeJonge and several preview screenings of the film are scheduled in May for certain locations in Missouri, Buckles’ home state, and Arkansas.  DeJonge hopes that the success of the film will spur the movement to create a national World War I memorial in Washington, DC.

View the official trailer for “Pershing’s Last Patriot” here.

For more information on the film project, visit the “Pershing’s Last Patriot” website here.

Rep. Ted Poe Refiles “Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act” in Congress

Rep. Ted Poe of Texas has reintroduced “The Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act” in Congress.  The bill calls for a memorial honoring Americans who participated in World War I  and requesting an exemption to a 2003 law which forbids new memorials on the National Mall.

In 2008 Rep. Poe first proposed that the District of Columbia War Memorial which stands in Potomac Park be expanded and designated a national WW1 memorial.  This memorial was subsequently restored by the National Park Service in 2010-11, though it remains the District of Columbia’s WW1 memorial.

For more information on the January 2013 reintroduction of the bill, visit here.