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Austin's Oldest Combat Veteran Gets Free Home Renovation

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez
Richard Overton greets well-wishers on his porch in East Austin during a birthday celebration for him in May.

Austin resident Richard Overton, the oldest known living World War II veteran, is getting a free home upgrade.

Meals on Wheels Central Texas has partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to repair the homes of veterans around the country. At 111, Overton is one of their oldest clients. He built his home in the late 1940s after returning home from the war and has lived there ever since.

Adam Hauser, the president and CEO of Meals on Wheels Central Texas, said the restoration will allow Overton to continue living safely in his own home.

“I was actually at the home yesterday when our crews arrived, and he’s very excited about these modifications to his home,” Hauser said. “It’s going to make it much easier and safer for him to continue to live there independently.”

The upgrades include new electrical wiring, widened doorways, laminated floors, bathroom renovations and a central heating and air conditioning system. The work is expected to be complete by the end of the month.

Meals on Wheels Central Texas has repaired almost 200 veteran homes since 2012. Forty other home repairs for veterans in the Austin area are currently underway, with another 40 to be done before the end of the year. 

Nadia Hamdan is a local news anchor and host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT.
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