One of the country’s oldest World War II veterans was honored at Massachusetts State House on Monday, but the visit was only a small part of the 99-year-old’s mission that he is hoping to complete before his 100th birthday.
Sidney Walton now lives in San Diego, but started his family in the Boston area and enlisted in the Army back in 1941.
He said he regrets never meeting a group a Civil War veterans back when he had the chance before he went off to serve, which is why he and his son started the “No Regrets Tour.” He hopes to visit all 50 states and capitals before he turns 100 in February, and share his part of history with anyone who wants to meet a WWII veteran.
“It’s so cathartic,” his son Paul Walton, who is joining him for the tour, said. “It’s making my dad feel so special and it's making me feel special that I still have my dad at 99 years old. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Walton kicked off the Go Sidney Go campaign with a visit to the Rhode Island Governor in Providence last week. He was honored with a citation and medal of merit by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Monday.
They have 48 more states to go.
“To see this happening is just so heartwarming,” Paul Walton said. “All my father wants is to give back and this is just going to get bigger and better.”
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Their next stop is Maine, but before that, Walton will be the guest of honor at the Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Wednesday.
Walton and his son plan to end their tour at the White House on his 100th birthday, February 11, 2019.