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Why World War II veteran on 'No Regrets Tour' stopped in Richmond

Posted at 7:16 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 23:05:32-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- There are fewer than 326,000 veterans left from the Second World War out of 16 million, according to the National World War II Museum.

And as the number continues to dwindle, one veteran and his son are making sure their service and sacrifice is passed on to the next generation.

Sidney Walton has been traveling around the country for the past two-and-half years on his “No Regrets Tour” to give people a chance to meet a World War II veteran.

His son, Paul, said the tour stems from his father’s own regret at not meeting Civil War veterans when he had the chance.

"You wish you could go back in time and meet them?" Paul asked his father.

"Absolutely," the 101-year-old Walton replied.

Walton enlisted in 1941 and spent five years in the Army.

"Nine months before Pearl Harbor, you wanted to join the Army," Paul asked his father. "Why?"

"To fight Hitler," Mr. Walton replied.

Mr. Walton served in what was called the Chinese, Burma, India Theater before being discharged in 1946.

His “No Regrets Tour” has seen him meet celebrities, rock stars and even take part in this year’s Super Bowl coin toss .

Friday’s stop in Virginia got him a step closer to meeting every U.S. Governor with Gov. Ralph Northam being number 36.

Northam met Walton along with Veterans Affairs Secretary Carlos Hopkins. All three are veterans of the Army.

"It’s nice to see a member of the Greatest Generation," Northam said. "I got to say, you and all your men and all the women of World War II did a great job."

And with only 14 governors to go, the Waltons are already planning their next tour.

"May be when we’re done with the United States, we’ll do a world tour," Paul Walton said.

Walton will turn 102 in February and his son said they plan to have a big celebration in his hometown of New York City.

Click here to learn more about Mr. Walton's tour.