99 year old vet on a mission: 50 states, 50 governors

Phil Briggs
July 12, 2018 - 3:48 pm

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At 99 years-old, WWII veteran Sidney Walton is a man on a mission.  

His mission? Travel to all 50 states, meet every state's governor and conclude with meeting President Trump, in early 2019.

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It's an amazing feat for anyone, but it's truly incredible for Walton, who is one of America's oldest WWII vets.  According to his bio, "Sidney was born on Feb.11, 1919 in Manhattan's Lower East Side. He grew up in Brooklyn and the Bronx, then enlisted in the United States Army in 1941, nine months before Pearl Harbor. He served a total of five years." 

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Now he's traveling across the country to meet as many people as possible.  Dubbed the "The National No Regrets Tour" his son (and tour manager), Paul Walton explained how the idea was born from his father's only regret, "Growing up in New York City, he had an opportunity to meet Civil War veterans, but he never took advantage of it. He later joined the Army in 1941, and when he finally got out, there were no more Civil War veterans still alive."

Walton recalled saying to his father, "'Dad, if you to live to 99, we're going all the way.  We'll go to all 50 states, meet 50 governors and allow everyone a chance to meet a World War II veteran." 

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And meet people they have. Walton described some incredible moments they've experienced, "The shout out he received at Fenway Park during a Red Sox game was mind blowing ... and the Cubs on July 4th put him on the field with Coach Joe Maddon and up on the big screen! Then we were flying from Chicago to Atlanta, when we got an invitation from Florida Governor Rick Scott.  So, the next morning we're at the Florida Governor's Mansion."

But Walton is quick to point out that this tour is anything but a celebrity meet and greet. "That's what makes the news, but once it makes the news, people know where we are and they make an effort to come meet him.  That's what we're doing now in Florida. We call it a 'victory lap' and we're going to Tampa for the Rays vs. Marlins game, and then on to Miami and other major cities."

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Even more heartwarming than strangers thanking Sydney for his service is the story beneath the story. "It's also the story of a son willing to spend 24 hours a day taking care of an elderly family member," said Walton. "And I hope others see it and are encouraged to take care of their elderly family, and have fun traveling!"

With every stop, they're spreading cheer to every person they meet, but it does require support, "We're doing this for love and joy, but it does cost money," explained Walton. 

If you would like to contribute to Sidney Walton's "No Regrets Tour" or read more about their journey across the country check out www.GoSidney.com

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