Oldest WWII veteran goes to Washington

Charlotte Errity Contributor
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107-year-old Richard Overton met President Barack Obama at the White House before joining him in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, USA Today reports. Overton is known to be the oldest living World War II veteran.

Overton was in his thirties when he joined the Army in 1942. He went into combat while “island hopping” in the Pacific with an all-black unit, Allen Bergeron, chairman of Honor Flight Austin told USA Today. Overton was a member of the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion.

His secret to his longevity? He begins every day with “a tablespoon” of whiskey in his coffee. He also smokes two cigars a day.

“Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender,” Overton told FOX News in May.

When asked how it feels to be meeting the president today, Overton said, “I ain’t met him.”

And what will he tell Obama? “Whatever he asks me,” Overton retorts. “I’ll just keep my mouth shut — I wouldn’t know what to tell him. I’ve never thought of that.”

Overton was met in Reagan National Airport with an honor ceremony and standing ovation.

“I didn’t think I was worth that much,” Overton said after his celebrated arrival in the nation’s capitol, which came as a surprise to him.

On war, Overton said in a brief interview with USA Today on Sunday, “War’s nothing to be into. 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 was over there. I had to do things I didn’t want to do.”

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell calls Overton “a regular guy and an extraordinary gentleman. His story is the story of veterans everywhere who leave their peaceful lives to fight in far-off lands for our future.”