According to David Kipfinger, VFW 5th District commander, about 1,500 or more World War II veterans die every day, and there are fewer than a million left worldwide.
The National World War II museumâ€™s website estimates that 1.9 billion people worldwide fought in the war, and it estimated that 60 million died.
has noticed a decline among World War II veteran members in the VFW posts in the region, though not all of that decline is due to deaths.
â€œInitially, it was gradual, but with age ... unless you stay in touch with them ... theyâ€™re kind of left at home,â€� he
said. â€œBecause of their age â€" 85, 90 years old ... the only people getting in touch with them are doctors, nurses and close family.â€�
estimated that â€œprobably by 2020 or 2025, there probably wonâ€™t be any (World War II veterans) left, and the Korea and Vietnam era veterans will be next on the agenda.â€�
Glenwood Hankins of Martinsville
joined the Virginia National Guard
in February 1941, shipped out to England from Fort Meade, Md., after Pearl Harbor, and then took part in the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
served in France, Belgium and Holland before returning home.
Once he got back to Martinsville, Hankins went to work for the Postal Service for 40 years, alongside some of his comrades in the guard and Company H of the 116th Infantry Regiment.
Like many veterans of the war, Hankins joined the local VFW, where he kept in touch with other veterans.
said, only one of his
co-workers from Company H still is living, and â€œthe veterans I served with ... thereâ€™s only two of us living.â€�
agreed, saying that initially, other veterans looked at the more recent conflicts as â€œpolice actionsâ€� rather than proper wars.