HOUSTON — A San Diego veteran about to have the time of his life got a big surprise Sunday night at RodeoHouston.
The 99-year-old was there with his son when he got a chance to shake hands with former President George H. W. Bush. But that's just the beginning of his journey.
It’s the ultimate tour for a World War II veteran, whose only regret in his 99 years of life is when he missed his chance to meet Civil War veterans standing in front of him at Central Park.
“I could’ve met them, but I didn’t," Sidney Walton said. "The Civil War was very important to me.”
But Walton now has another chance to make up for that.
“This would never happen in an assisted living center. But unfortunately that’s where so many of the World War II veterans are," Walton's son Paul said.
The father and son are embarking on a cross country tour, calling it "No Regrets."
“Let’s go, and let’s put a real purpose in what we’re doing. And let’s meet and greet everyone who comes our way," Paul Walton said.
Giving America a chance to meet a real hero, the Waltons took off from New Orleans last week and then headed to Houston.
The 99-year-old closed down Irish Cowboy for Saint Patty’s Day and had a presidential meet-and-greet on the last night of RodeoHouston after he was honored.
But in his travels, he’s also sat with former President Barack Obama and our current Head of the Oval Office, President Donald Trump. They’ve met celebrities, royalty, and even the Dalai Lama.
Paul Walton says it all started when his dad turned 94.
“If he’s just got a few more months left, let’s just go all out, and I took him to 30 countries," Paul Walton said.
But as those months turn to years, they realize their journey is just beginning.
“I'm doing it for him, I'm doing it for me, and we’re doing it for everyone who wants to meet my father," Paul Walton said.
Along the way, they plan to stop at every state and meet every governor until they meet the President on Sidney Walton's 100th birthday at The White House.
If you would like to donate to Sidney Walton's adventure, click here.
If you would like to follow along, click here.