This is from Western Journalism.

Happy Birthday Richard Overton.

Thank-you for your service and Hand Salute.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/worlds-oldest-wwii-vet-celeb…

 

His neighbors threw him an early birthday party on Sunday.

 

He’s the oldest known living veteran in the U.S., but you wouldn’t know it if you saw him. 108-year-old Richard Overton, a World War II Army veteran, drives, walks without a cane, doesn’t take any medicine besides aspirin, and still trims the trees in his yard.

He also enjoys “at least 12 Tampa Sweet cigars a day” and his daily dose of whiskey, telling Fox News: “I may drink a little in the evening too with some soda water, but that’s it. Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender.”

Though he won’t turn 109 until May 11, Overton’s Austin, Texas, neighbors threw him an early birthday party on Sunday complete with burgers, milkshakes, and, of course, cigars.

A bit of a celebrity in his city, Overton drew a large crowd of well-wishers to the “Mighty Fine at 109″ celebration, including Austin mayor Steve Adler, who told Overton: “You are just one of the treasures that we have in this city.”

Overton was born in Texas in 1906 and served with the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945. “War’s nothing to be into,” he told USA Today in an interview 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.”

Upon returning from the war, he settled in Austin and worked at a furniture store. Though he tried to retire several times, they kept asking him to come back until he “got near 100 and finally quit.” He also worked at the Texas Treasury Department.

Overton married twice but never had any children. Still, he said, “I have a lot of family: the biggest family in Austin,” many of whom joined in the celebration this weekend.

It is extremely difficult to verify Overton is actually the oldest living veteran, as only about nine million of the nation’s 22 million veterans are registered with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Regardless, his feat is no small one.

When asked about the key to his longevity during an interview with the Washington Post last year, Overton said: “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.”

Overton has lived a good, long life, and one to be proud of. About his upcoming birthday, he told ABC News: “I feel happy that I’ve made it. I know I can’t make another 109, so I’m satisfied with this one.”

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