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Last U.S. veteran of WWI to be honored

Jan. 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The last known U.S. veteran of World War I will receive an honorary flagpole to hang one of his hundreds of U.S. flags, a Michigan resident says.

Bob Heft of Saginaw, Mich., said he and a group of U.S. veterans will travel to Frank W. Buckles' West Virginia home to present the 107-year-old WWI veteran with a flagpole to use with his scores of honorary U.S. flags, the Detroit Free Press said Thursday.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard that this man -- who's been presented flags by presidents and generals -- didn't have a flagpole," said Heft, whose 50-star U.S. flag design was accepted by Congress in 1960. "I decided to help do something about it."

Heft said the flagpole will be presented to Buckles, a reported history buff, as a flag-raising ceremony on Saturday near Charles Town, W.Va.

"He'll be able to read his books, look out the front window and see Old Glory flying," Heft told the Free Press.