EDGEWATER, Fla. – A local World War II veteran celebrated his 105th birthday with friends and family on Monday.
Richard Overman Sr. has a pretty simple formula when it comes to living a long, happy life.
“Keep busy, make friends, have fun,” Overman said. “I take every day and get as much out of it as possible.”
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Overman’s son, Richard Overman Jr., was also there to celebrate the big day.
“A lot of thoughts go through my mind,” Overman Jr. said. “It’s just admiration for a good father and a good man.”
A fine man who served in the United States Air Force for more than 20 years.
“I wanted to see the world,” Overman said. “The only reason I went into ministry with my boyfriend is because we were looking for adventure and we found it.”
Overman spent time around the world while serving during World War II.
“I’ve been to North Africa, Sicily and Italy,” Overman said. “The war was over and they picked us all up and put us on a boat and my whole squadron ended up in one of those southern countries. There were 17 air groups over there and they were ready to go to Japan and end the war.”
After leaving the military, Overman worked in law enforcement for 22 years, 16 of those years in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“I stayed 22 years and retired, and then I was a police officer for 22 years and enjoyed doing both,” Overman said. “I would do them both again if I could.”
Overman Jr. also had a career in law enforcement and says it was his father who inspired him to join the force.
“You know, I mean, if I’m telling the truth, I would say yes,” Overman Jr said. “I might not have said it back then. I’ve spent nearly 40 years in law enforcement and never looked back.”
Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States when Overman was born in 1918. Since then he has seen more than a dozen presidents, the Great Depression and multiple wars. Overman’s son said he handles crises better than everyday life.
“I’m not a quitter,” Overman said. “I went through some tough times and got through everything. You don’t live 105 years and don’t have your problems because you have them.”
Overman said he has no plans to slow down any time soon.
“I just have fun with other people,” Overman said. “You can’t have fun alone. If you go into the corner, you will not lead a very happy life.”
Overman ended his milestone birthday with a party that included cake and gifts, of course.
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