Oldest living WWII veteran reflects on Memorial Day

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by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

kvue.com

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Updated Monday, May 27 at 7:00 PM

AUSTIN -- He was born in 1906. There are plenty of pictures and proclamations that help tell the story of Richard Overton's life. All kinds of pictures any kind you'd want to see.

But there are no photos to show what Overton went through while serving in the U.S Army during World War II.

"You heard in Iwo Jima the water turned to blood, well it did," Overton said.

At 107 years old, his memory of the four years spent fighting in the south pacific is sharp.
 
"We'd go from this island we'd do what we're supposed to do there," he said. "I come back and didn't get a scratch on me, not a scratch on me."

Overton's fight to stay alive by killing the enemy, and seeing his fellow soldiers die, cannot be forgotten.

"Sometimes you ain't got no legs no arms no heads. And the flies were as big as bees," he said. "They'll keep your dog tags, and you'll keep one and they'll send the other to your family and they'll keep the other themselves to put on the grave."

Some memories are too much to bear.

"It don't bother y'all, when you talking about the stuff that we had to go through. I never want to go through it again," Overton said, through tears.

On this Memorial Day, Overton hopes everyone will take the time to remember the brave men and women who served in the armed forces and gave their lives for their country.

"I met a lot of people I talk to, they don't care," he said. "It wasn't easy."
 

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