'Oldest Veteran' Richard Overton celebrates 108th birthday in Au - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports
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'Oldest Veteran' Richard Overton celebrates 108th birthday in Austin
Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:40 PM EDT
Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:42 PM EDT
Richard Overton has been on this earth for 108 years now.
"Feel good, feel good, yeah. Feel happy about it," he says.
He's the nation's oldest veteran and he lives in a little house in East Austin he bought in 1945 for a whopping $4,000.
On Saturday, his front yard was filled with people who wanted to throw him a birthday bash for the books.
"Oh we've got chicken and got sausage, salad and beans and corn and I don't know what else," he said.
The Army veteran's 107th year was the stuff of dreams.
Being recognized as the nation's oldest World War II veteran, Governor Rick Perry showed up on Overton's front porch for a little chat.
And on Veteran's Day, President Obama honored him in front of thousands in D.C.
"His service on the battlefield was not always matched by the respect that he deserved at home. But this veteran held his head high," the President said.
When Overton got back to Austin from that trip, he received nothing less than a hero's welcome.
Back in his neatly trimmed lawn, Overton stays humble about meeting the leader of the free world.
"Yeah...well he's another person just like us," Overton said.
The lady sitting next to Overton is 90-year-old Earlene Love. Earlene's mother never let the two get married.
"Him and Earlene wanted to get married but she said he was too bossy so they're just life partners. I call them life partners because they're going to be together until the end," said Anna Priestly.
Priestly is Earlene's daughter. These days she helps take care of them.
"To me he's like my father. Because he's been there for all of us. He had no children so we're kind of...he kind of adopted us," she said.
She says Overton still does a lot on his own though. He works in the yard and he still drives.
When we first met Overton he said whiskey and cigars helped him get to the ripe old age he is. But now he answers questions about his longevity a little bit differently.
"I aint got nothing to do with that. No, that's God's work! Yeah but I think I'm gonna make it. I done made it this far, I'm gonna still make it on further," he said.
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