Seventy-one years ago, Army man Richard Arvine Overton was fighting for his country in the South Pacific. Now, at 107, the Austin, Texas, resident is reported to be the oldest living veteran in the United States. So how does he plan on spending this memorial day? On his porch of with a cigar nestled in his right hand and a cup of whiskey-stiffened coffee nearby. It’s part of the routine for him, and apparently it’s working. “Whiskey’s a good medicine,” said Overton. “It keeps your muscles tender.”
Overton credits his longevity to aspirin, which he takes daily, and the relatively stress-free life. He married twice but never fathered any children and still attends church every Sunday.“I got good health and I don’t take any medicine,” he said. “I also stay busy around the yards, I trim trees, help with the horses. The driveways get dirty, so I clean them. I do something to keep myself moving. I don’t watch television.”
Overton, for his part, believes he’s the oldest veteran in the country, although he said he feels decades younger and doesn’t really embrace the part. He wishes he could spend a few hours this Memorial Day reliving war stories with fellow veterans, but he’s outlived most — if not all — of them.
“I know I had someone from my platoon until recently, but he passed so now I don’t have anyone that I know,” he said. “So I feel lonesome by myself sometimes. I would love to ask some of them some questions, but nobody is here. Everybody’s passed.”