At 102 years old, a World War II veteran is on a journey to visit every state in the United States of America. He is making progress on his goal, having visited his 39th state this week.
According to the Kansas Reflector, this impressive veteran is Sidney Walton. And since 2018, he has been on a mission he refers to as his “No Regrets” tour.
Walton was born in 1919. He volunteered to join the United States Army in 1941. He signed up eight months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 of that year. He did so, he said, “to fight Hitler.”
While in the Army, Walton worked as a medical technician. He was in the 34th Infantry, 8th Division. He was stationed in India during World War II. The arena in which he served is known as CBI, for China-Burma-India, according to the veteran’s website. Walton stayed in the service through the end of the war. He reached the rank of corporal during that time.
The veteran refers to his adventure as the “No Regrets” tour based on an experience he had as a young man. It was in 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York City that Sidney Walton missed out on a chance to meet with the few then-living veterans of the Civil War.
“Three and a half years ago, we set upon this magnificent tour called the ‘No Regrets’ tour. Because all my dad’s life I always heard that he regretted one thing. He had one regret,” Sidney’s son, Paul Walton shared.
Sidney said he would go back and meet those Civil War veterans if that was possible.
Through his tour, Walton wants to give his fellow Americans a chance to meet him – one of the dwindling number of veterans who served in World War II.
Walton is also undertaking his tour for another very important reason. That is to raise funds to assist the nation’s nurses who are helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic. His website offers opportunities to donate to this worthy cause.
Veteran Sidney Walton Recently Stopped in Kansas, Oklahoma is Next
Sidney Walton was in Topeka, Kansas, on Tuesday, July 20. There, he visited with the state Governor Laura Kelly. He presented her with a hat that recognized his 50-state tour. She gave him a coin that bears the image of the ruby slippers the character of Dorothy had on in “The Wizard of Oz.” She also gave him a Kansas state flag.
While in Kansas, Walton was honored by Kansas Air National Guard Maj. Gen. David Weishaar. “Thank you very much for your continued service to the nation and remarkable service in World War II. May you continue that service to the nation throughout the rest of your life,” Weishaar said.
After Kansas, this World War II veteran and his son were headed to Oklahoma. They are scheduled to meet with Governor Kevin Stitt on Friday, July 23. And, according to Paul, he and his father are determined to complete their 50-state journey. They even know which state will be the final stop on their tour.
“We are going to accomplish this mission. Delaware, known as the first state, is going to be our last state,” Paul said.