Washington, DC - For the first time in 70 years there'll be not a single veteran of World War II sitting in the House of Representatives or in the Senate when 114th Congress convenes on January 3, 2015, the Association of Mature American Citizens notes.
Michigan's John Dingell, who is 88 years old, and 91-year-old Ralph Hall of Texas are the last of the Greatest Generation to serve.
Dingell, a Democrat, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944 when he turned 18 and rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1955 and holds the distinction of being the longest serving member of Congress.
Navy Lieutenant Hall, a Republican, joined up in 1942 and was an aircraft carrier pilot. He was elected to the House in 1980 and has held his seat for 17 terms.
Veterans' advocate Seth Lynn, director of the independent Veterans Campaign, said "World War II, as awful as it was, broke down tons of barriers." Those who served, he said, developed a "camaraderie that lasted for the rest of their lives."
Representative Hall said the bond held firm among members of Congress who served in the Great War. "When we differed on the issues, we respected each other and chose to respectfully disagree. That was part of our military training and experience."