ARLINGTON, Va. (AP/WJLA) - Nearly seven decades after returning from the horrors of war, and at age 107, Richard Overton more than earned the rousing applause he received on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery.
President Barack Obama on Monday paid tribute to those who have served in the nation's military, including Overton, one of America's oldest surviving veterans.
"This is the life of one American veteran, living proud and strong in the land he helped keep free," Obama said during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Overton rose slowly and stood to loud applause when Obama mentioned his name, then stood a second time at the president's request and drew more applause.
He was among hundreds attending the outdoor ceremony on a crisp, sun-splashed Veteran's Day. Earlier Monday, Overton and other veterans attended a breakfast at the White House.
Obama used his remarks to remind the nation that thousands of service members are still at war in Afghanistan. The war is expected to formally conclude at the end of next year, though the U.S. may keep a small footprint in the country.
Soon, "the longest war in America's history will end," Obama declared.
Across the city in Prince George's County, police put together care packages for officers who are also Army reservists who are serving in Afghanistan.
They're far away physically, but for officers like Todd Miceli, they're not far from their thoughts.
"Some years ago, it was folks got deployed and it was, 'See you in a year,'" Miceli said. "We want to make sure...the rest of our police family knows that they're gone."
After all, they know that as officers and veterans, they're all one big family, which is something that shouldn't be taken for granted.
"I see the youth of today is not appreciating what those of us did who serve," Marine Corps veteran Henry Sanders said.