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Richard Overton, America’s Oldest WWII Combat Veteran, Turns 112

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Richard Overton, America’s oldest living World War II veteran, turned 112 years old today. The Austin native has become a legend in his hometown. He’s lived on the same street for more than seven decades. Last year, his dedication to his country and local community earned him a new honor.

In 2017, the street the veteran has lived on for over 70 years was renamed in his honor as “Richard Overton Avenue.” The humble but charismatic veteran was honored with a special ceremony before his official birthday party kicked off.

Overton has rightfully received several honors. He’s been invited to the White House by then-President Barack Obama. He was personally gifted a bottle of whiskey from Texas Governor Rick Perry. So what does he make of all these celebrations?

“God gave me this,” Overton told KXAN last year. “There’s nothing I can do about it but laugh, be glad.”

In 2016, his community rallied to help him stay in his decades-old home, after his family grew concerned about his ability to take care of himself.

READ MORE: Over $100,000 Raised to Keep Oldest Living WWII Vet in His Texas Home

Still, Richard has plenty of energy to burn, even at the age of 112. So what choices helped him reach such a big milestone? Overton previously told the Wall Street Journal that he smokes “at least 12 Tampa Sweet cigars a day” and also credits drinking whiskey as his secret to his longevity.

Happy birthday, Richard!

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Richard Overton, America’s Oldest WWII Combat Veteran, Turns 112