‘I wanted to see the world,’ Central Florida WWII veteran celebrates his 105th birthday

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 and happy life.

“Keep busy, make friends, have fun,” Overman said. “I take advantage of every day and make the most of what I can.”

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Overman’s son, Richard Overman Jr., was also there to celebrate the big day.

“I have a lot of thoughts going through my head,” Overman Jr. said. “It’s just admiration for a good father and a good man.”

A fine man who served for over 20 years in the United States Air Force.

“I wanted to see the world,” Overman said. “The only reason I entered the service with my friend is that we were looking for adventure and we found it.”

Overman spent time around the world while serving during World War II.

“I had 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 squad ended up in one of those southern countries. There were 17 air groups there and they were ready to go to Japan and end the war.”

After his time in the military, Overman worked in law enforcement for 22 years, 16 of those years spent with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

“I stayed 22 years and retired, and then spent 22 years as a police officer and enjoyed doing both,” Overman said. “I would do them both if I could.”

Overman Jr. also had a career in law enforcement and said 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 then. I spent almost 40 years in law enforcement and have 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 several wars. Overman’s son said he handles crises better than everyday life.

“I’m not one to give up,” Overman said. “I have been through difficult times and I have achieved everything. You don’t live 105 years and you don’t have your problems because you do.”

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 to the corner, you are not going to live a very happy life.”

Overman ended his big birthday with a party that, of course, included cake and presents.

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