At 111 years old, Richard Overton is America’s oldest living veteran, and he has some simple answers for his long, healthy life – he drinks whiskey and smokes cigars every day – and just thinks about living.
His short answer to the secret of his longevity: God and cigars. He doesn’t buy anything he doesn’t need, and doesn’t mess with credit cards.
Overton was born in 1906, and still remembers when the soldiers returned from World War I.
Years later, when World War II broke out, he joined the fight, enlisting on September 3, 1940. He served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945, including Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima.
He has met with former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and was invited to the White House in 2013 where he met with then-President Barack Obama and attended a Veterans’ Day ceremony at Arlington.
Still living in the same home in Austin, Texas where he’s been for the past 70 years, Overton loves to sit on the front porch – his “stage” – for up to 10 hours a day if the weather is nice.
Married twice, but no children, Overton has no close relatives – he has outlived them all. He does have cousins who stop in to visit him, and one first cousin who lives down the street.
Many news media outlets have done interviews with him – the most recent was the Dallas Morning News, who reported that Overton often gets up at 3 a.m., drinks two to four cups of coffee, walks around his home “to increase blood flow his his limbs”, and smokes his first of 12 cigars for the day. Then he goes back to sleep until the sun comes up.
Two caregivers each work 12-hour shifts, which allows Overton to stay in his own home, and a GoFundMe page started by his cousins in December how now raised almost $190,000 to help fund the bill for his care.
The follow documentary was published with Overton was 109 years old, and still driving, but he has since given up driving.
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