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Sidney Walton (1919–2021), WWII veteran known for “No Regrets” tour

by Linnea Crowther

Sidney Walton was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II who became known as he traveled the U.S. to meet state governors in the last three years of his life.

“No Regrets”

Walton joined the Army in 1941, serving through 1946, when he was discharged as a corporal. In later years, he was a professor of geology and worked at U.S. Air Force bases. His “No Regrets” tour grew from an experience he missed when he was young: In 1939, a group of Civil War veterans gathered in Walton’s hometown. The young man didn’t take the opportunity to meet them, and he later regretted this decision. On his 99th birthday, his son suggested he make up for the missed opportunity by touring the U.S., meeting as many governors as possible and giving others a chance to meet a World War II veteran before the generation is entirely lost.

Walton and his son soon began traveling the country. In his travels, he met presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden as well as 40 governors and celebrities including the Dalai Lama, Jay Z, Katy Perry, and Prince Harry. He participated in the coin flip at Super Bowl LIV along with three other WWII veterans. Walton’s tour was featured by the Today Show and other national news outlets. He met his last governor – Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma – just three days before his death.

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Notable quote

“This is the greatest country in the world. I’m very proud to be an American.” —from a 2019 interview for the Rancho Bernardo News Journal

Tributes to Sidney Walton

Full obituary: The San Diego Union-Tribune

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