As Memorial Day approaches, Richard Overton, a cigar-smoking, whisky-drinking World War II veteran is celebrating a day of his own – his 111th birthday!
Guess how he’s celebrating? With a cigar and whiskey, of course.
Oh, and a block party to celebrate a new street named after our nation’s oldest veteran!
Via the Statesman:
In April, the Austin City Council passed a resolution to give Hamilton Avenue the honorary street name Richard Overton Avenue, and party guests will be able to check out the new street signs at the celebration.
In recent years, Overton has become a celebrity of sorts. He met President Barack Obama, he’s been featured in a cigar magazine and honored by the San Antonio Spurs with an honorary jersey. But as he turns 111, Overton says has learned to savor the little things in life he relishes.
Here is Overton celebrating his 110th birthday …
For even more fun, here’s a video of Overton showing off his guns at 109-years young …
Overton served in the U.S. Army, fighting in the South Pacific between 1942 and 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau, and Iwo Jima.
Here is a list of his various awards according to Wikipedia:
The City of Austin issued a proclamation honoring Overton in 2013:
The Austin City Council will recognize Austin resident and the oldest World War II veteran Richard Overton in celebration of his 107th birthday at the May 9 Council meeting.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell will present Overton with a birthday proclamation at 5:15 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
Overton grew up near Bastrop and after returning home from his military service overseas, he worked for the Texas Treasury Department in Austin. He lives in the same East Austin house he built when he got out of the service at the end of World War II. Overton says he is in good health and takes care of himself by mowing yards, taking one baby aspirin a day, attending church every Sunday and enjoys the company of many friends.
The city council even sang happy birthday to him.
A GoFundMe page was started in December to help defray the costs of having a home health aide take care of Mr. Overton. The page is worth a look even if you can’t donate, simply for the incredible photos of Overton with the president, professional golfers such as Ben Crenshaw, and others.
You often see these stories about folks who live an extraordinarily long time, and the same question is always asked: “What’s the secret to a long life?”
If the answer is whisky and cigars, we couldn’t be happier!
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