Nation’s oldest living veteran honored with street, garden

Richard Overton at an event naming a healing garden after him on April 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)
Richard Overton at an event naming a healing garden after him on April 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When the nation’s oldest living veteran showed up to an event honoring him, he had four cigars sticking out of his jacket pocket. If you knew Richard Overton, 110, then you would know that’s his style.

On Friday, the healing garden at the VA Austin Outpatient Clinic in southeast Austin was officially named in Overton’s honor. The World War II veteran, who will soon turn 111 years old, served in the US Army Air Force.

Overton says the event is a proud moment for himself as well as the community. “It makes me feel proud of myself, not only me, but makes y’all proud. I’m glad you all take your time out to take up this much time with me,” said Overton.

The love for the veteran doesn’t stop at a garden. On Thursday, the Austin City Council approved a resolution to give the street where Overton lives in east Austin, Hamilton Avenue, the honorary name of “Richard Overton Avenue.” Overton built his home on Hamilton in 1945.

Late last year, his family started a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for his at-home care. Since then, thousands of people have donated more than $168,000.

A plaque honoring Richard Overton at the healing garden named after him on April 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)
A plaque honoring Richard Overton at the healing garden named after him on April 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)

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