previous arrow
next arrow

A Tradition of Service Logo 75

Henry A. Falk

Submitted by: Jeffrey Falk {Grandson}

Henry A FalkHenry A. Falk was born around 1887. Henry Falk served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

The information I have about my grandfather was told to me by my father, since my grandfather died when I was 2 years old.

He enlisted when he was 30 years old. A farmer by trade, he signed up for infantry. Basic training was at Camp Funston, part of Ft. Riley in Kansas. He was in company i, 353rd infantry, 89th division. He was involved in the battle of St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne. He was a corporal and was responsible for ensuring that everyone got "over the top".

One time he turned to help another soldier out of the trench and as he stood up he said it felt like he was hit in the back with a sledgehammer, throwing him into the trench. The mess kit in his pack had stopped a bullet.

There was also mention of the fierce hand to hand combat he experienced, but he never went into too much detail. Having grown up on a farm, he said one of the saddest things was seeing the wounded horses. He said that men understood what could happen to them, even expect it, but the animals had no idea what was going on.

After the war he returned home, got married, had children, and became a county commissioner. He went blind in the late 1960's and had to be moved off the farm. Someone had broken into the house and stolen his uniform, rifle, the Luger he had liberated, and his dog tags.

Because he served in the infantry, I decided to do the same and became an m-60 machine gunner serving in the first infantry division.

When I got out in 1993 my wife and I were in Atchison, Kansas near the farm where my grandfather grew up. We found a small antique shop someone opened in a trailer, so I stopped in to see what they had. My hobby of military collecting always had me looking so when I asked if they had any items the woman pulled some old dog tags out of her desk. When I looked at the name on them, I could not believe my eyes, Henry Falk, my grandfather!

When I told her they were my grandfather's, she said the price was $90, the average price for them at the time was $20. When I told her I couldn't afford them, she put them back in the desk and said have a nice day. I returned the next day, but the price was now $120.

I don't have any first-hand memories of my grandfather, but now I have something of his: his dog tags, along with my father's dog tags, my own dog tags, and my son's dog tags, in a case on my bedside table.

My grandfather started a Tradition of Service in The Falk Family — In the photo below, from right to left: my grandfather in WWI; my dad, John K. Falk, who served in the U.S. Army counter intelligence corps, '57-61; to the left of my dad is me, Jeffrey E. Falk, m-60 machine gunner, 1st infantry division, U.S. Army, '90-'93; to the left of me is my son, A1C Jeffrey E. Falk, Jr., electrical and environmental systems specialist, U.S. Air Force, '16-present.

5abaf8c8ef1a1 100 years of service