Oldest American war veteran, Richard Arvine Overton 107 years old, Austin Texas honors him, Served in South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, Greatest Generation
“Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”…George Washington
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”…Thomas Paine
From Fox News May 26, 2013.
For his 107th Memorial Day, Richard Arvine Overton, who saw many of his fellow soldiers fall in the line of duty in World War II and even more die over the following decades, is planning a quiet day at the Texas home he built after returning home from World War II.
He wouldn’t want it any other way.
Overton, who is believed to be the nation’s oldest veteran, told FoxNews.com he’ll likely spend the day on the porch of his East Austin home with a cigar nestled in his right hand, perhaps with a cup of whiskey-stiffened coffee nearby.
“I don’t know, some people might do something for me, but I’ll be glad just to sit down and rest,” the Army veteran said during a phone interview. “I’m no young man no more.”
Overton, who was born on May, 11, 1906, in Texas’ Bastrop County, has gotten used to being the center of attention of late. In addition to being formally recognized by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell on May 9, Overton traveled to Washington, D.C., on May 17 as part of Honor Flight, a nonprofit group that transports veterans free of charge to memorials dedicated to their service. Despite serving in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima to name a few, it was Overton’s first time in the nation’s capital.
“I was really honored when I got there,” Overton said of his visit to the World War II Memorial. “There were so many people, it was up in the thousands. And we danced and we jumped … them people tickled me to death. It made me happy as can be.”
The entire experience gave Overton a “good thrill,” he said, and the significance of visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at a time when an African-American holds the country’s highest elected office was not lost him.
“I was very, very happy,” Overton continued, adding that he wasn’t deterred by Washington’s expansive National Mall. “At my age and my strength, I’m able to stand up and do anything. My mind is good, so I’m able to do what I want.”
Overton credits his longevity to aspirin, which he takes daily, and the relatively stress-free life he’s enjoyed since getting out of the service in October 1945. He then worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Treasury Department in Austin. He married twice but never fathered any children and still attends church every Sunday.”
God bless Mr. Overton and all veterans.