"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (American, 35th President of the United States, 1917–1963)
SUBJECT: Frank Kosar
In honor of Veteran’s Day, I have posted a photo of my maternal great-uncle, Frank Kosar. Frank was born May 29, 1895 in Illinois near East St. Louis. On June, 5, 1917 he was part of the first registration for the WWI draft. At that time, he was 22 years old and working as a coal miner for the Suburban Coal Co. He had blue eyes, light hair and was of medium height and build. He was single and living with his parents, Frank and Mary Kosar. Less than a year later, on April 29, 1918, he began his military career with the United States Army as a private, assigned to the 37th Division, "C” Company, 148th Infantry also known as the “Buckeye Division” under the command of Major General Chas. S. Farnsworth. He fought in France on the Western Front, part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, in the Verdun Sector. On September 29th, 1918 he was wounded by a bullet in the hand. According to his memoirs, due to a high fever he had from an infection, the bullet was removed without anesthesia. After he was stabilized, he was sent back to the United States and after recovering from his injury, returned to his home in January of 1919. He was awarded the WWI Victory Medal and World War I Victory Button (Bronze). However, he suffered from what we know know as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In January of 1922, the local paper reported that "Driven insane by memories of the horrors of battle in France, Frank Kosar, 26 years old, world war veteran, was taken to the Jacksonville State Hospital by Sheriff Martin Schnipper.” He would remain there until his death on November 6th, 1927 at the age of 32. The official cause of his death was tuberculosis which was related to his service with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Frank was buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Belleville, Illinois. I just wanted to say “Thank you” to Great-Uncle Frank, and to all the veterans who have served us and our country. Your service is greatly appreciated more than words can say.