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

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. -- Veterans of Foreign Wars 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, Michigan.

The names of the 94 men who served were read as a shot of whiskey was poured into a bucket of sand for each member. "Then buried under a dedication plaque that we have for them," said Patrick Meine, Junior Vice Commander, VFW Post 1527.

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

It was a tribute honoring the men who deployed to World War II out of Kalamazoo County. All the men have passed away except for 93-year-old Fred Spencer who took part in the special 'Last Man Standing' tribute to honor his fellow company members.

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.”

Spencer received a 'special tribute' award on behalf of the state of Michigan, gifted to him by Michigan Senator Margaret O'Brien and State Representative David Maturen.

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