Over the last few months, Richard Overton has had to give up a few things. First, he gave up driving the Ford pickup he had owned for years. Then, after a bad bout with pneumonia in November, he eased up on drinking his beloved whiskey — which, along with cigars, he calls his secret to long life.

But when you’re the oldest World War II veteran in the country and you’re turning 110, very few things can bring your mood down. On Wednesday, Overton celebrated his birthday surrounded by family, friends and admirers on the front lawn of his home in East Austin.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that he chomped happily on a cigar as family and friends, some calling him “Pop,” hugged and congratulated him.

“How do I feel?” Overton said. “I feel good. I feel like I’m 50.”

Overton, who was born in Bastrop County in 1906, served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945 as part of the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion. After the war, he returned to Austin, and he has lived in the same home ever since.

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Image courtesy of statesman.com

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