Oldest Vet at 107, Richard Overton Celebrates Memorial Day at Texas Home

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 07:14 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Richard Arvine Overton, believed to be America's oldest veteran, spent Memorial Day quietly reflecting in his home in East Austin, Texas, remembering his former comrades while enjoying some whiskey-stiffened coffee and cigars.

The 107-year-old World War II veteran, who served in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, told Fox News that he didn’t have any specific plans for Memorial Day except to take it easy.

"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."

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Overton's rest and relaxation over the Memorial Day holiday comes after a particularly busy month for the centenarian.

After being officially honored for his military service two days before celebrating his birthday 107th birthday on May 11, Overton was flown to Washington D.C. as part of Honor Flight – a nonprofit organization that transports veterans, particularly from World War II, free of charge to memorials dedicated to their service.

It was Overton’s first time in the nation’s capital, Fox News reported.

"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."

Describing the D.C. visit overall as a "good thrill," Overton told Fox News that he wasn’t deterred by Washington’s expansive National Mall.

"I was very, very happy," Overton added. "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."

In addition to visiting the various war memorials in D.C., Overton, who is African-American, also enjoyed his visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Overton attributes his longevity to taking baby aspirin daily, a relatively stress-free life since the war, and staying active.

"I got good health and I don’t take any medicine," he said. "I also stay busy around the yards, I trim trees, help with the horses. The driveways get dirty, so I clean them. I do something to keep myself moving. I don’t watch television."

In addition to yard work and house chores, Overton also says he routinely enjoys some whiskey with his morning coffee and smokes up to 12 cigars a day.

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"I may drink a little in the evening too with some soda water, but that’s it," Overton tells Fox News. "Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender."

Having worked at several local furniture stores post WW II, Overton eventually wound up at the Texas Treasury Department in Austin, from which he retired from in his mid-eighties. Married twice, Overton never fathered any children and says he still attends church every Sunday.

Related stories:

WWII Vet Who Provided Flag on Iwo Jima Has Died

WWII Vet Dies Days After Casting Last Vote

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