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Monday, February 28, 2011

Frank Buckles

No U.S. veterans of WWI remain. Frank Buckles, the last living American WWI veteran died last night. At 110 he was one of three living WWI veterans worldwide. He entered the Army as an underage teenager.

Three years ago this May, I met him in Kansas City. I had been invited to attend the Memorial Day Celebration at the newly renovated WWI Liberty Memorial. I was honored to meet him and to join Kansas City veterans in celebrating the day.

At 107, he joined dignitaries on the stage for the event. That evening, he attended the celebration where thousands of Americans applauded him.

His kindness, patience and willingness to meet people impressed me. May God bless him forever!

For more information on Frank Buckles, visit

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Three month hiatus

I took a break - a three-month break. I needed it. Now I'm back in the groove! A lot of happenings to report.

The Branson Chamber decided to take over the Bugle and publish it in-house. The Branson Veterans Task Force (BVTF) moved to a new location on Hwy 76 but they are no longer writing or mailing the Bugle. Therefore I am no longer editor. However, the BVTF will continue planning and coordinating veteran events including Veterans Week activities.

I'm sorry to report that Korean War veteran and Chosin Reservoir survivor, Sedric Wirt, passed from this life this winter. Sedric's kindness and humor will be sorely missed around Arkansas and Missouri. Last spring he and his wife Phyllis invited us to ride in their jeep for the Arkansas MVPA 'Red Ballin' Through the Ozarks.' We had a wonderful day as 50+ old military vehicles convoyed through beautiful Ozarks scenery as the rain came and sunshine followed. The highlight of the trip however was the time spent with Sedric and Phyllis. For several years, Sedric, along with other AR MVPA members, brought his jeep to Branson for the Veterans Day Parade. We'll miss him next fall.

Despite the cold weather that reached us clear down in South Texas, we've had a wonderful winter. I'll be sharing photos and stories from South Padre Island, Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge and Aransas Pass Wildlife Refuge..

I'm working on two new books - the story of nature cinematographer John Bax and a murder mystery set in Branson, MO. I'll update you on my progress from time to time. Murder Takes a Ride will be available this spring. My writing partner, Joyce Faulkner, is putting the final touches two books. Both are planned for publication this year.

I wrote several articles on our Wisconsin experiences at Fond du Lac, Ashland and the Hayward Lakes Area. The 2011 Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Conference will be held at Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake in Iowa. The Missouri Outdoor Communicators conference will be held at Bennett Springs. Looking forward to both events!

Joyce and I plan to display our books at the MVPA National Convention in Dayton, OH, this summer and at Veterans Village in Branson in November. Hope to see you at one or the other!