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Oldest Living Veteran Gets Free Home Makeover (Photos)

| by David Bonner

America's oldest living World War II veteran is getting a free home makeover.

Richard Overton, now 111, moved to Austin, Texas, in 1948 after serving in World War II, reports WAFB. He served in the Pacific Theater with the U.S. Army in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion from 1942-1945, the Austin-American Statesman adds.

His house, where he has lived for almost 70 years, is overdue for a few renovations.

"We are doing some repairs to Mr. Overton's home, so he can continue to live in it independently," said Adam Hauser from Meals on Wheels Central Texas, which has expanded its services to include home repairs in addition to its signature service of delivering meals to the elderly.

"We want older adults to be able to age in place and live out the remainder of their lives in their own homes where they're most comfortable," Hauser added, "but we want those to be healthy and safe environments for them and that's what our program does."

The renovations are being funded by the Home Depot Foundation, which aims "to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families," according to the official website.

The updated home will include central heat and air, new laminate floors and a walk-in shower to make the bathroom more accessible.

"I'll be glad when they start and glad when they get through," Overton joked. "That's two glads."

On May 11, the City of Austin proclaimed that Hamilton Avenue, where his home is located, will be given the honorary name of Richard Overton Avenue, reported the American-Statesman.

The designation of being America's oldest living veteran has brought Overton a certain degree of celebrity status. In 2013, he met then-President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. He has also been featured in “Cigar Aficionado" magazine, thanks to his habit of smoking more than half a dozen cigars every day. For his 100th birthday, he received a jersey from the San Antonio Spurs with the number "110" on it, which is framed and proudly hanging in his house.

"It’s all right," he said of his fame. "It’s something different. I like it."

In an attempt to provide him with 24-hour home health care, Overton's family started a GoFundMe page in December, with a goal of $200,000. "It's people who donate who help keep him on this porch," said Overton's cousin, Volton Overton Jr.

Sources: WAFB, Austin American-Statesman (2), Home Depot / Photo Credit: Pixabay, Austin American-Statesman

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