Frank Levingston, America’s Oldest Living Veteran: “I’m Blessed”

frank levingston1Quick pop quiz! Here is a history question. What year did World War II start? If you said 1940, you were close. 1939. Also known as the Second War, this global war lasted for 6 years, ending in 1945. At that time, you had to enlist in the draft if you were a male between the ages of 18 and 45. As a result, the youngest people enlisted in the draft were born in 1921.

A US Army veteran, Frank Levingston, joined the fight in 1943 at the age of 38.  Wait, so how old is he!? Born in 1905, Levingston is currently 109, but 110 years old in a few days on November 13th! That makes Mr. Levingston America’s oldest living veteran! To that age is truly a blessing, but you do not have to tell Frank Levingston that. In an interview with KPLC-TV, he reveals what has kept him alive and kicking for so long.

“I’ve been through so many dangerous things and I’m still here. I’m thankful to the almighty God for it,” explained Levingston. He served as an Army Private for the Naples-Foggia Campaign in Italy beginning in 1943. He was discharged in 1945, the last year of the war.

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frank levingston-110Fast forward to 2015; Levingston currently lives in Louisiana City. Looking back at his full life in retrospect, Levingston said, “I think I’m one of the blessed ones.” Think about it. Not only did he serve in the military during a world war, but is also an African American man–an African American born in racist and segregated 1905. When you think of that in a historical context, you think of everything that Levinston endured in this country, yet he is still here! Without even being asked, Levingston said, “I feel very good.” If that is not a blessing, then I do not know what is. Levingston is a living and breathing testimony to that. He explained that when his birthday – Friday – comes, he wants to celebrate with his family.

Levingston admits that he had little “formal education”, but he does have about 110 years of experience under his belt. Any conversation with this man would be worth having. What he considered to be his best piece of advice for people – something he learned from his parents – is, “Be honest. That goes a long way.” Levingston met a great friend,…