Turning 100 is an accomplishment itself, but it pales in comparison to the life and legacy of Donald Rook, Army Veteran and community living center resident at the Martinsburg VA . Rook is a World War II Veteran and the last living of his six siblings.

Army Veteran “Pops” Rook

Rook served in World War II in the 2nd Infantry Division. The unit is known as the Indian Head division. He enlisted in the Air Corps in 1942. Two years later, he landed on Omaha Beach for the second day of the invasion of Normandy.

Rook fought under extreme combat conditions, surviving the Battle of the Bulge with head and shoulder wounds that would earn him a Purple Heart. His combat experience ended in May 1945 after his unit’s capture and liberation of Leipzig-Schoenfeld, a satellite of the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp.

Home to Pennsylvania and Dolores

Rook departed the European theatre with orders to fight in the Pacific, before the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

He returned to his home state of Pennsylvania and met Dolores, his wife of 67 years.

After serving several more years in the National Guard, and then retiring from the Letterkenny Army Depot, Rook – or ‘Pops’ as he’s known now – spends his time with his four children, ten grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. In his 100 years, Pops has built a legacy of service and family.

The Martinsburg VA thanks him for his service and wishes him a very happy birthday!

By Chiray Weatherholtz is a public affairs specialist at the VA in Martinsburg, WV

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Published on Nov. 27, 2021

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2 Comments

  1. Lawrence Heminger November 27, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you for your service Happy Birthday Sir I am a VN veteran

  2. James R Sherman November 27, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Pops you are a role model, hero and inspiration to many. You served with distinction, putting your life on the line many times. My father survived the Battle of the Bulge with you. You are the Greatest Generation. Thank you for sacrifice and service.

    Take care, be safe and God Bless.

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