American Ex-Prisoners of War

A not-for-profit, Congressionally-chartered, veterans’ service organization
representing former prisoners of war and their families.

Established April 14, 1942.



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Join our 50/50 Drawing

Be a part of AXPOW’s 50/50 drawing. Click here:
50-50 Tickets.

Print and fill our your raffle sheet and mail in, along with your small donation. $5.00 per sheet is suggested. (We're happy to take more!)

Then just sit back and wait for your 50% to arrive. Our 50% goes entirely to support the programs of the American Ex-Prisoners of War.

Mail to:
American Ex-Prisoners of War
3201 East Pioneer Pkway, Suite 40
Arlington, TX 76010.
Remembering our Vets at the Holidays: Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America was founded in 1992 as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project, and is a non-profit organization with the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. The Arlington Wreath Project was started by Morrill Worcester (Worcester Wreath) with an initial donation of 5,000 Christmas wreaths to be laid at gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Wreaths Across America program was relatively obscure until 2005 when a photo of snow-covered gravesites adorned with wreaths circulated on the Internet and drew national attention. Thousands of people wanted to know how to emulate the Arlington project at their own National or State cemeteries.
Morrill Worcester was unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each site but conceived the idea of sending seven wreaths (one for each branch of military as well as POW/MIA) to the designated locations.

In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol as well as other civic organizations, over 150 locations simultaneously held wreath-laying ceremonies.

By the following year, over 60,000 volunteers participated in laying 100,000 wreaths on veteran’s graves while promoting the core mission of Wreaths Across America of Remembering, Honoring and Teaching.
The Wreaths Across America organization has also reached out to thousands of children with their message of Remember, Honor and Teach while emphasizing the importance of honoring each and every fallen serviceman. In 2008 the United States Congress authorized the second Saturday in December as the official day of commemoration.

Wreaths Across America would be unsuccessful without the valuable assistance of the volunteers, many active organizations, and the generosity of the trucking ndustry.
Andersonville National Cemetery hosted the annual ceremony on December 12, 2009. If you or your organization would like to volunteer to assist with the laying of these wreaths in the future, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Lindsey Phillips, Andersonville National Historic Site. For more information on Andersonville National Historic Site, please visit their website at www.nps.gov/ande


Country artist Jamie Tate has powerful message for men and women in uniform

Jamie Tate originally wrote her new song I’ll Give My All simply to show some support for the troops, but the song has since taken on a bigger role.

I’ll Give My All is engaged in a promotion aimed at distributing downloads to one million current and former service men and women around the world—for free.

Every download will result in a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, the USO of North Carolina and the Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation.
Jamie had some very special help making the recording: from the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus. When the world-renowned group from Fort Bragg heard her song, they offered to lend their own voices.

The result is a stirring tribute to the sacrifice our men and women have made, and continue to make, every day. Click the player below to hear Jamie and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus performing I’ll Give My All.

And CLICK HERE to download your free copy of I’ll Give My All to your computer. Every download helps our troops and says “Thank You!” in a special way for all their sacrifices.

Apply now!

AXPOW Platinum VISA Credit Card.
Rewarding for you and us.



 
The Most Resilient Doughboy Frank Buckles
by Alice A. Booher
Frank Woodruff Buckles, the sole surviving veteran of WWI, was born February 1, 1901. in Missouri. When he was 16, the Marines told him he was too young and too skinny, and the Navy told him he was flat-footed. So he lied to the Army recruiter in order to enter the service.

Buckles shipped out with 102 men of the 1st Ft. Riley (KS) Casual Detachment to England On April 12, 1917 on the HMS Carpathia. (Some of those onboard had been on the ship when it had picked up survivors of the HMS Titanic on April 12.)

Initially, the unit replaced the 6th Marines, but he then drove motorcycles, cars and ambulances in the Gironde area, St. Andre de Cubzac, Basens, Bordeaux and St. Sulpice, an area of great warehouses and a camp for German POWs. In his oral and written history in the Library of Congress, he recalled after the Armistice was signed, acting as Army escort taking POWs back to Germany.

On one such trip, he was on the train, got out to stretch and missed the coach, so he road in the boxcar with the German POWs, one of whom he would later meet in Brazil. He recalled other stories about guarding the German POWs in France, including one when another soldier was guarding the POWsby himself on a payday, got drunk on local Cognac, and was hauled back into camp by the POWs in a wheelbarrow with another POW following, holding his rifle.

His WWI discharge papers as a Corporal were dated 11/13/1919 with payment of $143.90, including a $60 bonus.

One of his fondest memories was meeting and talking at length with GEN John J. Pershing at a tribute in Oklahoma City in January 1920. Buckles said he was then only 18 and a corporal, but the general asked to speak to him, and it turned out he had been born just 43 miles from his home in WV. He described Pershing as a wonderful man who “was really tough and did not take any guff."
After WWI, Buckles went to work for the White Star steamship line in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and after stints in Canada and NY was living as a businessman facilitating movement of cargo (and people in cargo ships) in the Port of Manila, The Philippines, on December 7, 1941. Taken prisoner by the Japanese, he was held at Santo Tomas and Los Banos for 3 years, 2 months during which time he planted a vegetable garden, helped with therapeutic exercises for a polio victim and tended other prisoners.

After release, and returning to the states, Buckles married Audrey Mayo in 1946 and in 1954 they settled in Charlestown, WV on a farm his ancestors had owned since 1732 (overlooking Civil War sites Antietam and Harpers Ferry). After WWI he was not recognized much as a veteran, but after WWII, he used VA educational benefits at business school, and later VA medical benefits including hearing aids.

He would implement his theory that talking about the past can be the best antidote to painful memories when he was on a flight to Spain and met a Japanese-American who told Buckles that his father had been held in an internment camp in the US during WWII.

Happy 109th Birthday, Frank!
Buckles told the man that they had all had rough times, and that he must go back and insist to his father that he talk about what happened.

After the war, Buckles went with the 7th Regiment of NY, C Co. and has since personally remained a staunch advocate for veterans and active in veterans organizations. Buckles served as National Commander of the Veterans of WWI of the USA, Inc. a Congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organization founded in 1949 and encouraged its publication, The Torch.
 
ALS BENEFITS FROM VA
Dear Abby:
In May 2001, you printed my letter alerting former prisoners of war and their widows to the special veterans' benefits available to them from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The response was great; many former POWs and their dependents now have their VA benefits because of that column.

Now, as chairman of VA outreach for American Ex-Prisoners of War, I write to alert all veterans (not just former POWs) of a recent VA ruling.

On Sept. 23, 2008, Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was made a presumptive condition for all veterans who served in our armed forces for at least 90 days.

This means that the widows of those veterans who died of Lou Gehrig's disease in years past are eligible for the VA widows' monthly benefit, which is very substantial. Many people are not aware that a veteran's death due to this disease is now considered service-connected. One claim I handled recently involved an ALS death 46 years ago, in 1963.

Thank you for your help in getting the word out, Abby.
Fred Campbell, American Ex-Prisoners of War

Dear Fred:
I'm pleased to help you and America's veterans once again.

From The Federal Register, Sept. 23, 2008:
Veterans with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may receive badly needed support for themselves and their families after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that ALS will become a presumptively compensable illness for all veterans with 90 days or more of continuously active service in the military. "Veterans are developing ALS in rates higher than the general population, and it was appropriate to take action,"

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake said. He based his decision primarily on a November 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) on the association between active-duty service and ALS. The new interim final regulation applies to all applications for benefits received by VA on or after September 23, 2008, or that are pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on that date.

For a listing of American Ex-Prisoners of War National Service Officers, click here.
  • AXPOW NSO

    For a listing of Paralyzed Veterans of America National Service Officers Service Officers, click here:
  • PVA NSO

    To download Department of Veterans Affairs VA Form 21-534, click here:
  • VBA-21-543.pdf


  • Find Them and Help Them
    Many American Ex-prisoners of war are unaware of their entitlements. We can do them a great service if we can find them. The Veteran's Administration estimates that 32,550 Ex-POWs were alive as of December, 2004 (the last year statistics were published). This was a drop of 10% from 2003. If we estimate declines of 10% for 2005, 2006 and 2007, there are fewer than 23,000 alive in 2008. We also know there are fewer than 10,000 who are members of our organization at this time. We need to continue to encourage VA to help in our quest to find both living POWs and their dependents so that they can claim the entitlements they deserve. Fred Campbell of San Angelo, TX is the chairman of AXPOW’s Outreach Committee. Please contact him if you know of a POW or widow who is not receiving VA benefits. His articles appear monthly in the EX-POW Bulletin.

    Legislation has made significant changes to benefits and health care available through the Veteran's Administration. Veterans who have not recently sought services from the VA should contact a National Service Officer (Click here for NSO directory) or the VA to explore which VA resources are available to them.

    Other benefits, besides medical, available to eligible veterans include: disability compensation, pensions, education and training, vocational rehabilitation, home loan guarantees, life insurance, burial, survivors' assistance and dependents' education.
    Worth Noting ...
    • German and Japanese POW camp info, VA claim information, effects of extreme stress, after-effects of imprisonment, Social Security, insurance, burial procedures and allowances and more. Find it all at Medsearch.

    • Info on the Prisoner of War Medal, including an application you can print from your computer and instructions for applying. Can be awarded posthumously.

    • "Our axpow.org website has a new design. It features easier navigation, greater readability and, we hope, a nicer look and feel. Comments and suggestions welcome! Email the editor at axpoweditor@comcast.net

    There are homeless veterans programs and benefits for special groups, such as blinded veterans, veterans with spinal cord injuries and veterans in need of prosthetic services.


    Save Your Oral History
    Please consider saving your oral history, memoirs, diary, and/or letters home. By leaving your oral history you will have done your country another good deed. You will serve future generations as they strive to understand their world.

    Click here for some excellent advice from noted historian Stephen Ambrose on how to start preserving your history.


    Note from
    The Kitchen Table Gang Trust
    42922 Avenue 12, Madera CA 93638-8866

    will dispose of your flags in a proper and dignified manner with full honors and dignity pursuant to the United States Flag Code Section 8K (PL93-344). Our flag retirement ceremonies are held on Flag Day, June 14th each year and are conducted by an all volunteer U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard led by GySgt. Dan Kelley USMC (Ret.). www.kitchentablegang.org

    American Ex-Prisoners of War National Headquarters 3201 East Pioneer Parkway #40 Arlington,TX 76010-5396
    817-649-2979 Fax 817-649-0109 hq@axpow.org

    Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved. The documents on this site are owned by the American Ex-Prisoners of War. Copying any materials on this site is expressly forbidden without the organization's express written permission in individual instances.  Republication is forbidden in order to avoid the creation of adulterated or obsolete versions, as well as unauthorized commercial exploitation.