Happy 112th Birthday Richard Overton – America’s Oldest WWII Veteran

Happy 112th Birthday Richard Overton – America’s Oldest WWII Veteran

Happy 112th Birthday Richard Overton – America’s Oldest WWII Veteran

By Debbie Gregory.

At 112 years old, Richard Overton is the country’s oldest living veteran.

He was born on May 11, 1906 in Bastrop County, Texas. In 1942, he volunteered for military service after the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Overton is a Veteran of Iwo Jima, and also spent time in Hawaii, Guam and Palau. He left the Army in October, 1945, after the unconditional surrender by the Japanese.

Overton served as a member of the Army’s 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion.  

After the war, Overton returned to Texas, where he briefly sold furniture, before going to work in the state’s Treasurer’s Office.

Overton lives in East Austin, in a house that he built himself. He has been a bit of a celebrity in the Veteran Community, heralded as being the oldest Vet in the nation.

Overton revealed that his secret to living so long is a moderate daily dose of whiskey and cigars. He admits to a spoonful of whiskey in his morning coffee, and puffing (but not inhaling) cigars, as a part of his regular regiment. But he admits that he mostly credits his longevity to keeping out of trouble.

Overton made it through the battle of Iwo Jima, one of the most horrific battles of all time, and then survived the rest of the war. It would be safe to assume that he had seen enough trouble in his life time to be able to recognize it, and be allowed to stay away from it.

Overton recently flew in a private jet to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, where he received a private tour and met former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

His 112th birthday bash was hosted by Austin hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm and featured music by DJ Kay Cali.

So here’s to Richard Overton and his great ability to endure as a soldier, as a person, and as an inspiration.


Nurses Who Laughed While WWII Vet Begged For Help Face Charges

james dempsey

By Debbie Gregory.

Two Georgia nurses and an aide have been indicted in the death of an elderly World War II veteran after they were caught on camera laughing as the man gasped for air and pleaded for help.

Eighty-nine-year-old Navy vet James Dempsey, who also served in the Army National Guard, died gasping for air and begging for help.

Loyce Pickquet Agyeman, Wanda Nuckles, and Mable Turman were caught on a hidden camera that had been placed in the room by the family.

The video, which was taken February 27, 2014, showed Dempsey gasping for air and calling for help, saying he couldn’t breathe, more than six times before losing consciousness.

After finding Dempsey unresponsive at 5:28 a.m., Nuckles was recorded laughing as the staff tried to start an oxygen machine, waiting nearly an hour to call 911 at 6:25 a.m.

While the nursing home was made aware of the video in 2015, it took another 10 months before they fired the nurses involved in the death.

Agyeman is charged with felony murder and neglect to an elder person.Wanda Nuckles, nursing supervisor, is charged with depriving an elderly person of essential services. Mable Turman, nurse assistant, is charged with neglect to an elder person.

All three were also indicted on a single count of concealing the death of another.A trial date has not yet been set.

“And I pledge myself to do all in my power to raise the standards and prestige of the practical nursing; May my life be devoted to service and to the high ideals of the nursing profession.”

-Practical Nurse Pledge based on the “Nightingale Pledge”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

WWII Vet Continues to Defend the Flag


By Debbie Gregory.

A 92-year-old World War II veteran was injured by a vandal as he protecting the American flag outside his home.

But this story has a happy ending.

Following the incident in which Howard Banks was pushed to the ground, resulting in several bumps, bruises, and a twisted knee, he received a visit from fellow Marine veterans from Honor Flight Austin, who offered him a free trip to Washington, D.C. to see the National World War II Memorial.

The vandal who was either trying to steal or destroy the American flag and the Marine Corps flag on display ran off while neighbors rushed in to help the veteran, who was left legally blind by a flare on Iwo Jima.

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that honors America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport these heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials.

Top priority is given to the senior veterans, World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

“This guy is living history,” said Honor Flight Austin Director Kory Ryan. “He’s a national treasure. People should be lined up on his porch to talk to him, not ripping his flags down.”

“I think we all had that same feeling, that the flag was our identity. We were Americans,” said Banks. “The fact that I’m getting older, and the less I can do… at least I can still do that.”

Banks’s daughter, friends and neighbors will be keeping an eye on him so that they can help him maintain his monument to the country he served and the Marine Corps, without putting himself in harm’s way. is honored to work with Honor Flight Network, as well as numerous other wonderful non-profits that serve military, veterans and their families.

We salute veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.