The nation’s oldest veteran celebrated his 112th birthday on Friday.
Richard Overton, believed to also be the oldest person in America, was born in 1906 in Bastrop County, located just outside of Austin. The WWII veteran served in the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion from 1942 to 1945, which included stops in Angaur, Peleliu and Iwo Jima, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
“I love to have a birthday,” he told the newspaper, adding that he hopes to “live another five years.”
Overton credits God, whiskey and cigars as the secret to his long life.
The veteran celebrated his birthday Friday from his home in East Austin, where he’s lived since returning from WWII. The street on which he lives — Richard Overton Avenue — was named in honor of his 111th birthday last year.
Overturn, who has met former President Barack Obama and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, among other notable people, requires 24/7 in-home care, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
To help with this expense, his family created a GoFundMe page for Overton that has raised more than $230,000 of its $400,000 goal.
That said, Overton hasn’t let age slow him down — just last month, the now 112-year-old flew on a private jet to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
“He’s like a gift to Austin that keeps giving,” Overton’s friend, Steve Wiener, told the newspaper. “He’s a crackerjack. When people sense his humor and playfulness, it just lightens everyone’s step.”
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