Richard Overton, America’s oldest living World War II veteran, turned 111 years old today. The Austin native has become a legend in his hometown. He’s lived on the same street, Hamilton Avenue, for more than seven decades. Now, his dedication to his country and local community have earned him a new honor.
According to KXAN, Overton’s beloved street will now be renamed to “Richard Overton Avenue.” The humble but charismatic veteran will be honored with a special ceremony before his official birthday party kicks off.
This is far from the first honor that’s been bestowed on Overton. 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,” he says, humbly. “There’s nothing I can do about it but laugh, be glad.”
Last year, 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.
Still, Richard has plenty of energy to burn, even at the age of 111. 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!