SACRAMENTO — According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, out of the more than 16 million Americans who served in World War II, less than a half-million remain today.
A 100-year-old San Diego man wants to make sure he can meet as many people as possible before he dies. Sidney Walton is one of the few former soldiers left from the greatest generation.
Walton served in the U.S. Army in India during the war. He said he joined the Army “to fight Hitler.”
As Walton’s son, Paul, helped explain Monday, when he was 21 and before he deployed, Walton had an opportunity to meet Civil War veterans in New York City. Walton never took advantage of that chance and told FOX40 he regrets that decision to this day.
It’s one of the reasons he wants to meet as many people as he can now.
“I’m up for it,” Walton said. “All 50 states.”
Last month, Walton met President Donald Trump at a 75th D-Day anniversary ceremony in Normandy, France.
Now, he’s going to every state to meet all 50 governors.
“We’ve met 22 so far,” Paul Walton said. “Gavin Newsom will be our 23rd. So, then we’ll have 27 more to go.”
Gov. Newsom met with Walton Monday.
After the governors, he’ll meet mayors, fire chiefs, business leaders and anyone who wants to say hello.
He said his favorite part about traveling around is that he gets to “see what a beautiful country this is.”
“I love it,” Walton said.