Richard Overton, nation’s oldest veteran, taken to hospital with pneumonia

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) — Austin’s most famous centenarian, and the nation’s oldest living veteran, has been taken to the hospital for treatment of pneumonia in both lungs.

Richard Overton, who turned 111 years old on May 11, was scheduled to welcome media tours of his recently renovated house on Friday, but Meals on Wheels Central Texas says he has fallen ill.

Volma Overton, Richard’s nephew, says his uncle is doing better than he was Wednesday night when he was taken to the hospital. A doctor told the family he will need to be in hospital “for a while,” but didn’t specify how long. “We’re worried about him,” Volma says. “We’re asking everyone for their prayers.”

Overton spent five days at the hospital in May after he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

In December 2016, family, friends and admirers across the country rallied together to help Overton find the care he needed so he could stay in the home he built in 1945.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1942 at Fort Sam Houston, serving in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, in Hawaii, Okinawa, Guam and Iwo Jima.

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