America’s Oldest Living Veteran Got A Home Makeover From The Home Depot Foundation

Patrick J. Murphy, undersecretary of the Army, shakes hands with 110-year old Richard Overton, the oldest living World War II veteran, who presented the game ball for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Jan. 7, 2017. The bowl is the nation’s premier high school football game, serving as a launching pad for America’s future college and NFL players. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brent C. Powell

Born on May 11, 1906, Richard Overton was already 34 years old when he enlisted with the US Army, serving in World War II from 1940 through 1945. When he returned home to Austin, Texas, Overton built a home that he is still living in 70 years later.

Overton first gained national attention in 2013 when he revealed to reporters that he would spend his Memorial Day “smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee.” His dedication to his vices despite his age won over Americans and later that year he met President Barack Obama when he attended the Veterans Day breakfast at the White House.

President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room of the White House, Nov. 11, 2013.

In 2016, Overton became America’s oldest living veteran and today, at 111, he still enjoys sitting on the porch of the home he built, smoking cigars. In fact, he smokes about 12 per day — but never inhales.

While Overton is still going strong, thanks to 24-hour home care, the same could not be said for his house. The years had taken their toll on the home and repairs were needed. That’s when the Home Depot Foundation joined Meals on Wheels Central Texas to make much-needed repairs, so Overton could continue living as he has for the last 70-plus years.