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Martinsburg VAMC honored to celebrate Veteran’s 100th birthday

Photo of Donald Rook in uniform next to a photo of soldiers marching.
Photo of Donald Rook, U.S. Army Veteran

Turning 100 years old is an accomplishment itself, but pales in comparison to the life and legacy of Donald Rook, a U.S. Army Veteran and community living center resident at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center.

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

Mr. Rook served in World War II in the 2nd Infantry Division known as the Indian Head division because of the logo on their patch. He enlisted into the Air Corps in 1942 and within 2 years, landed on Omaha Beach for the second day of the invasion of Normandy.

Corporal Rook continued to fight under extreme combat conditions, also surviving the Battle of the Bulge with head and shoulder wounds that would later 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.

Cpl. Rook departed the European theatre with orders to fight in the Pacific when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

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

After serving more years in the National Guard and then retiring from the Letterkenny Army Depot, Cpl. Rook – or ‘Pops’ as he’s more acquainted to now – enjoys his four children, 10 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. In his 100 years, Pops has built a legacy of service and family.

The Martinsburg VAMC thanks you for your service, Pops, and wishes you a very happy birthday!

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