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Today there is a war in Ukraine. In Dutty’s lifetime there was World War I, or The Great War. It lasted for four years from 1914–18, and it took place all over Europe involving Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey, against the Allies, France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States. It led to the end of four great dynasties in GermanyRussia, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey, and resulted in the Communist Revolution in Russia.

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To Arms!

In 1917, two million American men went to Europe to serve, and twenty thousand women went as nurses.

Women Who Served

Thirteen thousand women were admitted into the U.S. Navy during the war. They served stateside. The U.S. Marine Corps enlisted three hundred female Marine Reservists who served as clerks and telephone operators in the U.S.

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Gold Star Families

Of the Americans who served, some two hundred and seventy-two nurses died, as well as approximately 116,000 men. Dutty’s father was one of them. Families of these heroes hung a gold star flag on the door in their windows to honor a family member who died during World War I. Former President Theodore Roosevelt’s house had a gold star flag in its window after the death of his son.

Frank Buckles

While the Great War occurred one hundred years ago, the last surviving American veteran of World War I was Frank Buckles who died in February 2011.


World War I was called at the time, the war to end all wars. Sadly, it wasn’t.

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