As we make our barbecue and picnic plans, and relish in the extra day off from work this Memorial Day weekend, it's important that we don't forget the real reason for the holiday -- our veterans. Veterans like Richard Arvine Overton, who at 107 years of age, is thought to be America's oldest living veteran.
In an interview with KVUE, the World War II vet talks about his service in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1945. He arrived at Pearl Harbor just weeks after it was bombed. "But I came back, and I didn't get a scratch on me," he told the station. "But don't think I didn't get shot at because they're a bunch of soldiers over there."
Today he lives in Austin, Texas, where he built his home after returning from active duty. He's lived there ever since, but he hasn't sat still. He told the station: "You got to keep moving. You don't sit down and watch TV all the time. You have to keep moving."
He says activity, especially yard work, has led to his good health. Well that, plus a daily aspirin, cigars (up to 12 a day!), and some whiskey to keep him going. He told Fox 12: "Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender."
He plans to imbibe in some tomorrow in honor of the holiday too, most likely adding it to his coffee. At his age, he deserves it. He says the one thing he misses is sharing war stories with those whom he served.
I know I had someone from my platoon until recently, but he passed so now I don’t have anyone that I know. So I feel lonesome by myself sometimes. I would love to ask some of them some questions, but nobody is here. Everybody's passed.
So, no matter what your plans are tomorrow remember those like Richard and the many who have gone before and after him. Whether you raise a cup of whiskey or a glass of lemonade, just make you sure you remember.
How are you celebrating Memorial Day? What do you think of this Vet's advice for staying healthy?
Image via KVUE