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WWII Vet stops by Kansas statehouse on his 50-state, 50-governor tour

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 12:56 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - 102-year-old World War II veteran Sidney Walton is raising awareness for veterans and frontline nurses fighting -19.

He’s traveling across the united states, meeting all 50 governors to help share his message. His journey started in May of 2018 when he flew from his hometown, San Diego, to Rhode Island to start his odyssey with a lot of energy.

Paul Walton, his son, said, “He was as perky as could be. I wish today he could have been quite the same but please understand from 99 to 102, it’s not just three and a half of our years it’s probably like 30 years.”

Tuesday morning, he checked off meeting the 39th governor on his tour, Governor Laura Kelly.

She gifted him with the Kansas flag and a commemorative coin with the ruby slippers image from “The Wizard of Oz” movie.

Adjutant General David Weishaar also came to recognize his efforts. Gov. Kelly walked away with a “Team Sidney Walton” hat as well.

“She loved my father like it was her own father, after all, her own father was born the same year my dad was in 1919, they both joined the army in 1941. It’s just incredible the coincidences and to see her roll my dad out of the office, it was so touching,” Paul said.

Paul said his dad was eager to fight the nazis when he enlisted in the army in March 1941. He served as a corporal and medical technician. The fight to do right stays alive.

“That’s why he’s doing the right thing to raise money for the best cause in the entire world, frontline nurses, and we’re so grateful. Dad is not receiving a dime for this, we’re going into credit card debt but it’s okay, ‘cause it’s for a good cause,” Paul said.

The goal is to raise $46 million. They were inspired by the United Kingdom’s Captain Tom Moore who raised that amount for healthcare workers before he died from COVID-19.

Sidney wants to raise “$1 More than Moore.

“We are going to accomplish this mission in Delaware which is known as the first state is going to be our last state,” said Paul. “He’s having a great time in Kansas, loves Kansas and wishes he could stay longer in Kansas but we have to accelerate because at his advantaged age and if we want to meet our goal, we can’t linger around.”

Walton is traveling to Wichita now before his next governor-stop. Paul said they are going to Oklahoma to meet Governor Kevin Stitt Friday.

To see who else he has met and/or donate, click here for his website.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - World War II veteran Sidney Walton met Governor Laura Kelly and received a Kansas flag Tuesday morning for his fundraising efforts.

Sidney Walton, who is 102-years-old, is touring each of the 50 states in an effort to raise awareness for veterans and frontline nurses fighting COVID-19 with the American Nurses Foundation’s COVID response fund.

It is his 39th gubernatorial visit since he started his tour in May of 2018.

Paul said they were excited to meet the governor and continue their journey, but it’s not done until they visit all 50 states and raise enough money. Currently, they have a goal of $46 million. He said they were inspired by a similar campaign by the UK’s Captain Tom Moore, who raised $46 million for health care workers in the UK. Moore died due to COVID-19 complications.

“He’s having a great time in Kansas, loves Kansas and wishes he could stay longer in Kansas but we have to accelerate because at his advantaged age and if we want to meet our goal, we can’t linger around,” said Paul.

Gov. Kelly presented him with the Kansas flag and a coin commemorating his visit. The coin has an image of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz movie, Gov. Kelly was also wearing red shoes during his visit. Adjutant General David Weishaar met Walton alongside Gov. Kelly and gave him a coin Tuesday morning as well.

Walton was assisted by his son, Paul, leaving the Cyrus Hotel in downtown Topeka to the statehouse. They were led to the capital with a police escort with TPD officers and KHP troopers. They went down Kansas Ave. then turned on 8th Ave. to the statehouse.

Walton is traveling to Wichita now before his next governor-stop. Paul said they are going to Oklahoma next to meet Governor Kevin Stitt.

To see who else he has met and donate, click here for his website.

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