Gives everyone an opportunity to meet a WWII vet before they're all gone.
Sidney Walton, 101, one of America's last WWII vets, regretted missing a chance to meet Civil War vets. So he began the No Regrets Tour to all 50 states, meeting all 50 governors and everyone who wants to meet a WWII vet.
Born in New York on Feb. 11, 1919, Sidney joined the U.S. Army at 22, raring to fight the Nazi regime. He enlisted in March 1941, nine months before the U.S. formally entered WWII. In 1944, he learned he would be shipped out to Europe where his unit took part in what we know today as the Battle of the Bulge.
Unfortunately, Sidney missed out on that opportunity to fight in the European theater. Before his shipment date, he broke his ankle and had to stay behind for recovery. Once his ankle healed, he was assigned to the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater where he remained until the war's end, serving as a corporal and medical technician in the 34th Infantry, 8th Division. The only time he took a break in five years of war was to attend his mother's funeral back home in NYC.
After the war ended, Sidney entered graduate school at Yale, then went on to teach geology at Duke University. He met the love of his life, Rena Bell, in Boston on a blind date. They married and had a son, Paul; then they moved to Bangor, Maine, where Sidney worked as a civilian at Dow Air Force. They had two daughters, Judy and Ellie.
In 1960 the family moved to the opposite end of the country, San Diego, where Sidney worked for the federal government at various jobs including North Island Naval Air Station. He retired in 1982 after Rena's death from cancer.
However, Sidney always harbored a lingering regret that he did not meet Civil War veterans during the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Grappling with this, he decided to make up for it by giving Americans the chance to meet a World War II veteran before it's too late, so no one will regret not meeting one of these representatives of the Greatest Generation.
So in April 2018, at the young age of 99, he set off with his son Paul on a "No Regrets Tour" to visit all 50 states and all 50 governors, starting with Rhode Island. Sidney has since met 36 governors, two heads of state and countless Americans around the country. His No Regrets Tour also reminds Americans of the rapidly shrinking number of World War II veterans.
Though a journey marked with personal stakes, Sidney's trip has been full of fun surprises. At the 2020 Super Bowl, he joined three other 100-year-old veterans to flip the ceremonial pre-game coin. Just a week later, for his 101st birthday, Sidney headed to New York City where he was received by City Hall for a birthday salute. Mayor Bill de Blasio capped the festivities with a declaration proclaiming the day as “Sidney Walton Day.”
In this 75th anniversary year of the end of WWII, Sidney is reminding everyone of the courage it took and the sacrifices soldiers made to save this great country.
Had we lost the war, there would be NO America as we know it today - NO Hollywood, NO Wall Street, NO White House.
With your support, Sidney will be able to finish his final mission. Click here to help!
GOVERNORS WHO HAVE HONORED SIDNEY
4-24-18 (RI) Gina Raimondo video
4-30-18 (MA) Charlie Baker video
5-4-18 (ME) Paul LePage video
5-10-18 (CT) Dannel Malloy article
5-18-18 (NY) Andrew Cuomo video
5-24-18 (NJ) Phil Murphy photo
5-28-18 (IN) Eric Holcomb (and Indy 500) video
6-11-18 (NE) Pete Ricketts article/video
6-19-18 (TN) Bill Haslam article/video
6-26-18 (KY) Matt Bevin video
7-3-18 (IL) Bruce Rauner (honored at Wrigley - video)
7-11-18 (FL) Rick Scott article/video
9-25-18 (AK) Bill Walker video
10-5-18 (HI) David Ige video
10-17-18 (WA) Jay Inslee video
10-22-18 (OR) Kate Brown video
12-11-18 (LA) John Edwards video
12-17-18 (MS) Phil Bryant video
12-18-18 (TX) Greg Abbott video
4-26-19 (SC) Henry McMaster video
5-2-19 (MO) Mike Parson video
6-24-19 (NC) Roy Cooper video
7-29-19 (CA) Gavin Newsom article/video
11-5-19 (VT) Phil Scott video
11-7-19 (NH) Chris Sununu video
11-15-19 (MD) Larry Hogan video
3-9-20 (NV) Steve Sisolak video
3-26-20 (AZ) Doug Ducey video
6-2-20 (UT) Gary Herbert video
6-8-20 (WY) Mark Gordon video
6-12-20 (MT) Steve Bullock video
6-19-20 (ID) Brad Little video
8-13-20 (AR) Asa Hutchinson video
8-17-20 (GA) Brian Kemp video
11-13-20 (VA) Ralph Northam video
We are pleased to announce that Sidney has been appointed to the National Board of Directors of the State Funeral for WWII Veterans.
Goal: Convince the President to designate a state funeral for the last WWII Medal of Honor recipient, as a final salute to the 16 million soldiers who served from 1941 to 1945.