America’s oldest-living World War II veteran, Richard Overton, turned 109 years old on May 11th. Although his birthday was this past Monday, his Austin neighborhood threw an early birthday party on May 3rd. The party consisted of burgers, milkshakes, and cigars.
“I smoke at least 12 Tampa Sweet cigars a day,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “I’ve been smoking cigars since I was 18 years old […] I have over $100 worth of cigars now.”
The theme of Overton’s birthday was “Mighty Fine at 109” and many people, including the Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, were in attendance. Adler considers Overton “one of the treasures that we have in this city.” The veteran even received a letter from President Barack Obama.
Born May 11, 1906, Overton is the oldest-living veteran registered with the Department of Veterans Affairs. From 1942-1945, he served in the South Pacific prior to selling furniture in Austin after being discharged, and then working for the state Treasurer’s Office.
Overton’s lifestyle was previously described in 2013, “he drives and walks without a cane. During a television interview in March, he told a reporter that he doesn’t take medicine, smokes cigars every day and takes whiskey in his morning coffee. The key to living to his age, he said, is simply ‘staying out of trouble.’”
“Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender,” claims Overton. Though he admits he is not exactly sure what to credit with his life. “You have to ask God about that. He brought me here and he’s taking care of me, and nothing I can do about it.”
In addition to his whiskey and cigars, Overton stays busy by trimming trees and helping with horses.
“To think I’d be older than every soldier in the Union? You believe that? I didn’t ever think that.”
The Archuleta Law Firm handles injury, death, and veterans medical malpractice claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act. We handle claims in all 50 States and Worldwide. Our focus is helping Veterans, and the families of Veterans and Military Service Members in their claims involving Veterans (VA) Hospitals, Doctors and Clinics and Military Hospitals, Doctors and Clinics. We handle claims involving the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.