OLYMPIA, Wash. — A 99-year-old WWII veteran is making it his mission to meet every governor in the country.
Sidney Walton is one of only a handful of surviving WWII veterans. Wednesday, he met Gov. Jay Inslee, the 15th governor he’s met on his cross-country trip.
“Seeing a veteran like Sidney smile is pretty inspiring to a guy like me. We want to keep the greatest generation smile going,” said Inslee.
Sidney joined the Army in March of 1941. He had just turned 21.
Statistics show, more than 350 WWII veterans are dying every day.
When Sidney turned 99, he and his son, Paul Walton, began traveling the country. They want people to meet a surviving WWII veteran. Paul said the idea came from one of Sidney’s biggest life regrets.
“Remember when you were young, growing up in New York City, you had an opportunity to meet Civil War veterans and you never did, did you?” said Paul. “I never did … I wish I could meet a Civil War veteran,” said Sidney.
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Sidney turns 100 Feb. 11. To mark the milestone, he’s visiting the White House.
While at Capitol Campus Wednesday, Sidney visited the WWII memorial.
It’s safe to say Sidney is leaving Washington with fond memories. Gov. Inslee gave Sidney a commemorative apple pin.
“This is not the congressional medal of honor, but we kind of like it anyway,” said Inslee.
After Wednesday’s stop in Olympia, Sidney plans to travel to Seattle and drive to Spokane. His next big stop is early next month, when he’ll be honored at the Boston Bruins game.