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WWI Veteran, 103, Celebrates Memorial Day

Old 05-29-05, 10:27 PM
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WWI Veteran, 103, Celebrates Memorial Day

WWI Veteran, 103, Celebrates Memorial Day

May 29, 1:34 PM (ET)

CHARLOTTE HALL, Md. (AP) - Memorial Day parade organizers were considering using actors to represent veterans of World War I when they learned about 103-year-old Lloyd Brown - one of the last living veterans of the war.

Brown plans to ride in the parade Monday in Washington to represent the rest of the 4.7 million U.S. servicemen who took part in the Great War. He is one of the 30 who are still alive, according to an unofficial estimate by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"World War I people are getting scarce," Brown said. "Nothing can be done about that."

Brown was 16 when he lied about his age so he could join the Allied cause in 1918. His Maryland driver's license still lists his birth date as October 7, 1899, instead of the correct 1901.

"Everybody was patriotic; everybody wanted to join," Brown told The Washington Post. "Those who joined were local heroes, well received on the public streets."

Brown still remembers patrolling the North Atlantic for enemy submarines aboard the USS New Hampshire.

He reenlisted after the war as a Navy musician, and played cello in Australia as a member of an admiral's orchestra. He later served as a firefighter in the District of Columbia, and sold antiques in Charlotte Hall, in southern Maryland.

Brown retains enough white hair to comb. He still has a driver's license but favors a golf cart to drive to the end of his driveway to pick up the mail.

He lives alone but his daughter, Nancy Espina, checks on him every day. Son-in-law Thomas Espina said Brown doesn't allow anything to bother him too much, including aging.

"I don't consider it a long life," Brown said. "I feel as though there are a lot of people around my age."

Pretty cool to think about the fact that Mr. Brown was fighting a war eight and a half decades ago and is still with us. Hats off to all the men and women who risked or gave their lives in defense of this country.
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Old 05-29-05, 10:31 PM
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30 left. All centenarians, certainly.

Hats off to them.

Unfortunately, with the way life is, it won't be long till there are none.
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Old 05-29-05, 10:40 PM
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Very cool.....
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Old 05-29-05, 11:31 PM
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thats awesome
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Old 05-29-05, 11:33 PM
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Indeed cool. I read an obituary in my paper the other day for a WWI British vet who died at age 108; he was the last known living British cavalry officer that served in WWI (!).
And yes, as cliched as it sounds, god bless the brave men that have fought in defense of our freedom.
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Old 05-30-05, 12:00 AM
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God Bless them.
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