The world has lost a true hero.
Richard Overton, the oldest surviving veteran of World War II, died at 112 years old.
May 11, 1906 – six years before the Titanic sank, and nearly a decade before World War I began, Richard Overton was born in Bastrop County, Texas.
When Overton was 35 years old, The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, throwing the United States into World War II.
Overton enlisted nine months later.
“I liked it when I first went in,” said Overton in a previous interview,
Overton became a skilled sharpshooter, “I always liked to hunt. I always kept many guns.”
Overton rose to the rank of Corporal, serving in places like Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, where he came under fire.
“It’s one of those things you’re lucky to get out of,” said Overton, ” ’cause it’s a war lot of war, a lot of troops got killed.”
70 years after fighting in World War II, President Obama invited Overton to spend Veterans Day 2013 in Washington.
“Today, Richard still lives in the house that he built all those years ago,” said Obama during the visit, “rakes his own lawn and every Sunday, he hops in his 1971 Ford truck and drives one of the nice ladies in his neighborhood to church”
Overton’s secret to a long life? Not an apple a day.
“I started smoking cigars when I was 18 years old. I’m still smoking cigars, but I don’t inhale the smoke. That’s the reason my heart and everything is so perfect.”
Overton offered the following advice for a healthy, long life as well.
“I’d ask them to stay busy and talk to the Lord and live with the Lord. Don’t live with the people. Live with the Lord. Let Him take care of you.”
Overton was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia last week, where he passed away at 112 years old.