How to Celebrate Memorial Day: One Cigar, a couple whiskey-stiffened coffees and a lot of memories

I am a veteran, but I am no hero.  I faithfully served in the US Army from 1984-1987.  And although I am proud of my accomplishments from my time in uniform my, family knows well how uncomfortable I am with applause.  I do not deserve it.

Richard Arvine Overton does.


Have you seen any information about Richard this week?  He is 107-years-old–America’s oldest living veteran.  He served from 1942-1945, spending time in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima.

His plan for Memorial Day is simple–relax, smoke a good cigar, drink a few whiskey-stiffened coffees and remember.

Fox News reports, “He wished he could spend a few hours this Memorial Day reliving war stories with fellow veterans.”

The problem–as you know–is that there are very few WWII veterans left.  He sits in an elite category:  A generation of heroes all but gone.  Thank you, Richard, for your service!

But another generation has reached the twilight of their lives–the veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  Those wars may not be as “glamorous” as WWII where America stood toe-to-toe against Hitler, Mussolini and the Empire of Japan, but they were indeed wars, and hundreds of heroes emerged.  The same can be said of the men and women of our war against Islamic extremism who went above and beyond the call of duty, many of whom lost their lives.

Memorial Day finds me thankful for more than another day away from the office. Extra time with family is a good thing.  BBQ’s are always awesome.  But these simple blessings are not possible apart from God’s grace and men and women willing to put their lives on the line that I might live free.  Although my heavenly citizenship trumps my American citizenship, I can promise you that this holiday I will once again bleed




Thank you for pausing to “remember.”  Celebrate in Richard’s honor!


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