In Texas lives America’s oldest Veteran. He’s 108-years-old this last May, making him the oldest, gun-toting, cigar smoking, whiskey drinking US veteran.
The Washington Post reported that Austin, Texas, had a very special grand marshal for the Veteran’s Day parade this Tuesday. Shortly after the parade he was seen sitting on his porch in the home he paid $4,000 for when he returned home from WWII. He told the reporters that this parade was “fine, lovely beautiful. The best one I’ve seen yet.”
“It made me feel good. I appreciate everything they’re doing,” Overton said. “I had my name and age on the side of the car, and they couldn’t believe it. I was still walking and talking and riding along and everything.” (Washington Post)
They asked him about his whiskey, and he said he used to put it in his coffee every morning. He still admitted to adding a teaspoon to it for medicinal purposes. “It’s just like medicine,” he said. When they asked him about his cigars, he just smiled and admitted he smokes them daily. “I’m smoking one now,” he said from his home in Austin to the Post.
Indeed, Overton hasn’t slowed down much and remains sharp. He still drives his old Ford pickup truck, attends church every Sunday and has been known to help to transport widows to church, according to the Austin American Statesman. And he still does yard work.
Reminder: He is 108 years old.
One. Hundred. And. Eight. (Washington Post)
On top of his unorthodox habits, he helps with horses, trims trees, and never watches television.
The Washington Post isn’t kidding. Much like H.G. Walker that turned 90 this year, his generation hasn’t slowed down. Overton was born in 1906 and served in the Pacific Theater. He came back, worked hard, and continues to work hard, as much of that generation does to this day.
“War’s nothing to be into,” Overton told USA Today in 2013. “You don’t want to go into the war if you don’t have to. But I had to go. I enjoyed it after I’d went and come back, but I didn’t enjoy it when I was over there. I had to do things I didn’t want to do.” (Washington Post)
When he got back home, he went to work at an Austin furniture store. He first retired at 65, but told the Statesman that he went back to work 4 times.
“I got near 100 and finally quit,” he said. “They still wanted me back.”
Overton came back home to a state that was bitterly divided by race. Overton is the cousin of the late Austin civil rights leader Volma Overton, who also served in World War II as a Marine and went on to become the longtime president of the Austin NAACP. He has watched the nation heal on many issues, but he still keeps himself busy around the area he lives in.
Last year he went to Arlington and met President Obama. He told CNN of the meeting that “I didn’t think there [was] gonna ever be a black president. But it finally did happen.”
The Washington Post notes that he is only three days older than Lucy Coffey, the oldest living female vet, who joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943. That makes him the oldest living veteran in the United States.
God bless him and his service. May he have many more birthdays, as younger veterans (like myself) look to these men as our living heroes.
-Courtesy of Mad World News