A true American hero is no longer with us.
Richard Overton, who had the honor of being America’s oldest living veteran, has passed away at the age of 112.
God, Whiskey, and Cigars
Overton was not only the oldest living veteran, but he was also believed to be the oldest living American.
So what was his secret to lasting more than a century on this earth?
Even at the age of 112, Overton said he owed his health to “God, whiskey, and cigars.”
According to friends and family, Overton would sit on his porch and smoke close to a dozen cigars each and every day.
He, no doubt, chased a few of them down with a few fingers of whiskey.
That porch, by the way, is where his friends and neighbors could always find him in an entertaining mood.
His friend Steve Wiener characterized him as a “crackerjack” and said that Overton considered the porch his personal stage.
Overton’s advice to everyone hoping to have his longevity was simple: “Keep living, don’t die.”
The Army Veteran
Overton joined the Army when he was in his early 30s.
His service brought him to Pearl Harbor immediately following the surprise bombing by the Japanese in December 1941.
He was assigned to the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion, an all-black unit.
But while he served and was raised in an era when racism was still running rampant, Overton never allowed himself to be a victim of the times.
Instead, he served his country proudly and went through life with his head held high, regardless of the challenges he faced by those so ignorant they judged him based on the color of his skin rather than the man he was.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Overton.
We can only hope you find peace in your final resting place.