Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. World War II veteran, turned 111 on Thursday in Texas.
Overton, an Austin resident, served with the Army’s 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945.
He celebrated his 111th birthday with a lunch party at the University of Texas club, which was attended by Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other dignitaries. Overton received many gifts, including an autographed football from the University of Texas, ABC News reported.
The mayor declared May 11 Richard Overton Day and temporarily renamed Hamilton Avenue, where Overton lives, Richard Overton Avenue in his honor.
A GoFundMe campaign in January raised funds to allow Overton to stay in the home where he has lived for more than 70 years since he came home from the war, rather than be moved to an assisted living facility.
“111, that’s pretty old, ain’t it,” Overton said, USA Today reported. “I can still get around, I can still talk, I can still see, I can still walk.” Overton credits “cigars and God” for his longevity, admitting he had already had a few cigars that day.
Overton, a sharpshooter in the war, has been honored numerous times for his service, including for his 107th birthday having breakfast with President Barack Obama in the White House.
Overton was born May 11, 1906, in Bastrop County, Texas, Fox News reported.
Twitter users in his community and from far beyond it shared their appreciation and good wishes with Overton to mark his special day.
@AP Happy Birthday Richard Overton. U are much loved in our state.Hope u see many more years.My aunt lived 2 106. You’re looking good.
— Laneta Ivie (@l77ivy11) May 12, 2017
SALUTE! Nation’s oldest WWII veteran, whisky sippin’ Richard Overton, celebrating 111th birthday. Thanks for your service. pic.twitter.com/wLl9CzipXZ
— victor Dauterive (@thecajun8) May 12, 2017
Happy Birthday Mr. Overton!
— Patricia W. Fischer (@pawf1067) May 12, 2017
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