Bottle of whiskey given to ‘last man standing’ of WWII vets

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. -- VFW 1527 held a 'Last Man Standing' event Sunday to honor men of Charlie Company, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Division, who deployed to WWII out of Kalamazoo County.

“The men upstairs right now are smiling, absolutely," said Dennis Weber, who helped organize the tribute.

It was a tribute honoring 94 men who deployed to World War II out of Kalamazoo County. All the men have passed away expect for Fred Spencer, 93, who took part in the special 'Last Man Standing' tribute to honor the other men.

The names of the men were read and then a shot of whiskey was poured into a bucket of sand. "Then buried under a dedication plaque that we have for them," said Patrick Meine, Junior Vice Commander, VFW Post 1527.

The 'Last Man Standing' agreement was made years ago while the men were deployed, to purchase a bottle of whiskey that would go to the last surviving member of the unit.

“This is something that the group of guys had to entered into ahead of time," said Meine. "This is something him and his company, the men in his company entered into as they were deploying, as they were heading to the Pacific Theater in WWII.”

Michigan Senator Margaret O'Brien and State Representative David Maturen took part in the tribute and gave Spencer a 'special tribute' award on behalf of the state of Michigan.

“We are grateful for your [Spencer] service that you and your comrades gave to our country, thank you," said O'Brien.

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