SAN DIEGO, Va. -- Sidney Walton, a World War II veteran who visited Richmond in 2020 as part of his goal to visit all 50 states, has died, according to family members.
The 102-year-old, who enlisted in 1941 and spent five years in the Army, died Saturday morning surrounded by family in Santa Monica.
Walton had been traveling around the country for the past three-and-half years on his “No Regrets Tour” to give people a chance to meet a World War II veteran. He also hoped to travel to all 50 states and meet each governor.
In fact, Walton visited Oklahoma, his 40th state and met with Gov. Kevin Stitt, last Tuesday.
Walton visited Virginia last November and met 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."
Walton served in what was called the Chinese, Burma, India Theater before being discharged in 1946.
His son, Paul, said the tour stemmed from his father’s own regret at not meeting Civil War veterans when he had the chance.
When asked if he wished he could go back in time and meet them, the then the 101-year-old replied, "absolutely."
"Nine months before Pearl Harbor, you wanted to join the Army," Paul asked his father. "Why?"
"To fight Hitler," Mr. Walton replied.