99-year-old WWII vet plans to stop in Washington on 50-state tour
In 1940, a young Sidney Walton skipped the chance to meet the country’s last Civil War veterans, and so today the 99-year-old is endeavoring to visit all 50 states to provide people the opportunity to meet a WWII vet.
His “No Regrets Tour” has taken him to 13 states and meetings with each state’s governor. He has 37 more to go, including an upcoming visit here in Washington.
“We came up with this tour when dad turned 99,” said Sidney’s son Paul, who’s been taking care of his father for five years and is accompanying him on the tour.
“When he turned 99, I said, ‘We are going to dedicate one year of your life to giving back all the respect that you deserve to get. We’re going to go to all 50 states and meet all 50 governors and make my dad available to anyone who wants to meet a WWII vet.”
Walton is a retired chemical engineer who initially was preparing to be sent to Europe with the infantry unit in 1944, but broke his ankle during combat training and instead served in the China-Burma-India region. He was discharged in 1946.
Sidney Walton hope young people won’t make the mistake he did
The genesis of tour began in the 1930s before Walton volunteered for the army, and had the chance to meet several war veterans at an event in Manhattan’s Central Park.
“He had the opportunity to meet several war veterans, and did not take advantage, and has regretted that ever since,” Paul said.
Those looking to help Walton reach all 50 states can donate to gofundsidney.com. The ultimate goal is to be at the White House for Walton’s 100th birthday.
“Maybe Jeff Bezos is listening and wants to sponsor the whole tour,” Paul joked.