Richard Overton, America’s oldest living veteran, is back at home and recuperating after spending a week in the hospital. At age 111, Overton was taken to the hospital with pneumonia in both lungs on August 11 early in the morning. It was the second time since turning 111 in May that the World War II Army veteran has been treated for pneumonia.
According to local news sources, he was being treated at St. David’s Hospital in his hometown of Austin, Texas, but as of Thursday, the pneumonia had cleared from his lungs and he was healthy enough to return home, where he is now resting with a grateful family by his side.
“Overall he is getting better one day at a time,” his cousin, Volma Overton, told the local news. “Richard is doing much better — just the fact that he is back in his home.”
The family said they are grateful for all of the prayers and heartfelt sentiments that were sent by people all across the nation after learning of Overton’s hospitalization a week ago.
Overton was drafted into the Army in 1942, where he served with the famous 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Pacific Theater, including Hawaii, Guam, Palau, and Iwo Jima. He was decorated for his service and has since been honored on multiple occasions by presidents and dignitaries for his service. After the war, he settled in Austin, Texas, where he built the home he still lives in today.
Overton turned 111 years old in May of this year, making him the oldest living World War II veteran in America. He is famous in both his hometown of Austin and around the nation for his warm, easy manner and friendly disposition. He spends most of his time on his front porch, talking with relatives and neighbors while watching the town pass by. Overton gives credit for his longevity to God, but also to his rather peculiar and now-famous daily diet. He smokes several cigars and drinks whiskey every day. Other than that, his diet mostly consists of soup and milk, with coffee every morning and ice cream every night.
The Veterans Site joins the rest of the nation in wishing Overton a continued, speedy recovery. We are grateful that this Army Sergeant, America’s oldest living veteran and a true national treasure, is back home and on the mend. Below, you can watch a video of Richard Overton talking about his service and his long life.
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.