Buckles is known for his willingness to talk about his experiences and for his spirited attitude.
When asked how he looked back on his days running Gap View Farm, Buckles bluntly responded: "I'm still doing it."
Susannah Buckles Flanagan, Buckles' daughter, said her father is the "figurehead" of the farm. She and her husband Mike take care of the property, where the family raises 220 head of beef cattle.
Flanagan said she intends to keep running the farm and perfecting ways of raising livestock naturally.
Buckles was born on a Missouri farm in February 1901 and, at age 15, moved on his own to Oklahoma, where he worked in a bank, according to Bob Patrick, director of the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project.
The often-told story about Buckles is how he joined the Army when he was 15, although entrants were supposed to be 21 years old.
During the March 6 ceremony at the Pentagon, Buckles emphatically said "I am not a liar" when discussion turned to his age at the time of his entrance into the military. He said he was only "exaggerating" his age.
Buckles was one of an estimated 2 million Americans sent to France during WWI, and although he initially was sent to England, Buckles was eager to get close to the action and managed to get himself into France, Patrick said.
Buckles drove a variety of vehicles, including ambulances, cars and motorcycle that had a sidecar.
Buckles said the "casual" reference to his unit meant that members were not assigned. There were about 100 members of the unit that became a camp hospital, he said. Buckles said he had assignments throughout France, including being stationed at a German prisoner camp.
After the war, Buckles worked for a steamship company that sent him to Manila in 1942. The Japanese occupied the city and took Buckles prisoner.
Buckles recalled living near a hotel in Manila when a group of Japanese civilians found him and told him "to be prepared" because they would return to take him.
"We weren't sure what would happen," Buckles said.
When asked how he was treated as a Japanese prisoner of war, Buckles said there were "a lot of treatments." He said nothing more.
Buckles is a stickler for a healthy lifestyle, and he recalled how he and his comrades would pass a medicine ball for exercise. A medicine ball is a large, heavy, leather-covered ball, and Buckles pointed to one on a bookshelf as one of his prized possessions.
"What's in it, I don't know. It's the perfect medicine ball. They don't make them in this country like that," Buckles said.
He said his longevity was not unexpected.
"I wasn't at all surprised that I would be among the last (WWI veterans). What surprises me is that I am the last (American)," he said.
Buckles said what makes him especially satisfied about his life is that he had plenty of experiences outside of those in two world wars. Buckles said he traveled to South America, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and extensively studied the history of those regions.
"I've had a full life, no doubt about that. I started young," he said.
According to Patrick, Buckles has said that he is honored to represent all WWI veterans and he feels it is important that all their stories are told.
Patrick said Buckles' three years in Japanese captivity is notable.
"That's interesting in itself. He's had a very interesting life, to say the least," Patrick said.
The Veterans History Project collects remembrances of military experiences from veterans of all wars, Patrick said. The Veterans History Project has about 55,000 collections, and Buckles has been interviewed twice for the project, Patrick said.
There are video, audio and print versions of Buckles' story on the project's Web site at www.loc.gov/vets.
Shepherd University Professor Jerry B. Thomas, who teaches American history and the history of civilization, said the nation has been greatly aware of the passing of the World War II generation. That group was referred to as the "greatest generation," but Buckles represented another great generation, Thomas said.