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100-Year-Old WWII Vet on Mission to Meet 50 Governors

Sidney Walton hopes his cross-country trip inspires Americans to reflect on the contributions of veterans.

A very special visitor came to Vermont's capital city Tuesday — a World War II veteran who still has one more mission to complete.

Sidney Walton, 100, was stationed in Asia with the Army during World War II, before going on to a career as a chemical engineer.

The resident of San Diego is touring the nation, aiming to visit the governors of all 50 states, and as many Americans as he can.

Walton's get-together Tuesday with Phil Scott, R-Vermont, crossed governor number 24 off his list.

"Vermont has always been one of my favorite states," Walton told Scott.

Walton's family said the idea for this project came from a lifelong regret, explaining he always wished he had the opportunity to meet a living veteran of the U.S. Civil War.

That theoretically would have been possible, but it just never happened.

So now, wherever Walton goes, he and his kids urge folks to remember how quickly this country is losing its World War II vets, hoping young people will thank a veteran and reflect on the freedoms they have today.

"You love this country, don't you?" Walton's son, Paul, asked him, eliciting a response of "Oh sure! Who wouldn't?"

Scott's late dad became a double amputee serving in World War II, so the visit was really meaningful to him.

"Any time I can get an opportunity to thank a vet, it's a privilege," said Scott. "I think it's important that people tell the stories of the conflicts, so that we don't repeat, and that we learn something from that."

Opportunities for learning continue Thursday, when Walton heads to New Hampshire to meet his 25th governor, Chris Sununu.

You can track Sidney Walton's journey on this website.

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