Oldest surviving WWII Veteran loves cigars, whiskey, and guns

Texas – May 11, 2015 was Richard Overton’s 109th birthday. In an interview with Ben Philippi from, he said he owed his longevity to smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and defending his country with guns.  Gotta love people with real character.

wwii veteran

Richard Arvine Overton

Richard Arvine Overton is a United States Army Veteran of WWII. He served in the Pacific Theater during the war.  He is the oldest “verified” WWII veteran, born May 11, 1906. While there may be others, they weren’t registered with the VA, so are not being tracked.

After his discharge, he sold furniture in Austin, Texas, then later worked at the Texas State Treasurer’s Office.

He drives and walks without a cane. During a television interview in March, he told a reporter that he doesn’t take medicine, smokes cigars every day and takes whiskey in his morning coffee. The key to living to his age, he said, is simply ‘staying out of trouble.’ Houston Chronicle, November 2013

He says he has been smoking cigars since he was about 18 years old: he is now at 12 per day. “Tampa Sweets” to be exact. He says whiskey keeps his muscles “tender.” Richard spends his days helping with the horses, and trimming trees…and he doesn’t watch television. But as to why he’s still around, Overton has this to say:

“You have to ask God about that. He brought me here and he’s taking care of me, and nothing I can do about it.”

Richard also loves guns. In a interview he showed Ben Philippi some of his favorites…a couple of revolvers that he prized. But it was the last question posed to him that had a profound answer:

BP: “What do you want for your birthday?”

RO: “Another happy day. If I get that, I’ll be happy.”



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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee

I'm a published author of 4 books, numerous short stories, blogs and editorials. I've been working at Uncle Sam's since 2013. I have two degrees in Criminal Justice and worked for over 31 years at a local police department. I have been a patriotic American since I was a child.

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