(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brytani Wheeler/DVIDS)

100-year-old WWII vet on nationwide tour celebrates birthday on Today Show

February 11, 2019 - 1:13 pm

By Ben Krimmel

Sidney Walton wants to have no regrets.

And so the 100-year-old veteran of World War II is on a mission to give Americans the opportunity to meet one of the few remaining WWII vets...himself.

Walton, who enlisted in the U.S. Army nine months before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, had a chance to meet some of the last Civil War veterans in Central Park in 1940. It was an opportunity he missed and regrets to this day.

“The opportunity never occurred again,” Walton posted on his website in 2018. “After living with that regret all these years, I decided to make up for it by spending twelve months traveling throughout the U.S. making myself available to everyone who would like to meet and greet one of the last surviving veterans of WWII.”

Monday he celebrated his 100th birthday on the Today Show in New York City.

A survivor of the China, Burma, India (CBI) theatre, Walton wants to remind Americans about the sacrifices made by the men and women who served during WWII and he hopes to meet the governor in every state along the way. 

Walton, with his son and caregiver Paul, have managed to meet 19 governors already and are hopeful about meeting President Trump at the White House later this month. 

A highlight of Walton's tour includes the Rhode Island state legislature passing a resolution thanking him for his heroic and meritorious service: "As the 'Greatest Generation' passes away, here is one last opportunity to thank a member of that generation who served our nation so nobly through its period of greatest need. Their contributions to our nation and in the preservation of civilization itself, should never be forgotten."

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Related: Vet on a mission: 50 states, 50 governors