Courtesy of Daily Mail
The country’s oldest living World War II veteran was given a hero’s welcome on his first ever trip to Washington, D.C.
At 110 years old, Frank Levingston has seen the invention of the airplane, two world wars and 19 presidents come and go.
But, until this week, he had not yet seen the nation’s capital.
Levingston, accompanied by his niece and nephew, was given a water canon salute as his plane touched down at Reagan National Airport on Saturday.
He was greeted with a standing ovation, a Veterans Medal of Honor and a rendition of God Bless America, according to KPLC’s Jillian Corder.
Levingston, who served in the Allied invasion of Italy during World War II, said the trip was a dream come true.
“I’m just overwhelmed with joy,” he told WUSA 9. “I appreciate it.”
The veteran’s packed schedule included trips to the Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln memorials, as well as an appearance as the guest of honor at the Pearl Harbor Day ceremony on Monday.
His niece Shannon McCowan-Levingston said they have also been invited to the White House.
Levingston, who now lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana, celebrated his 110th birthday less than a month ago.
Born in 1905, he grew up with seven siblings in North Carolina and had little formal education before he joined the army.
Levingston fought in the Naples-Foggia Campaign before he was honorably discharged in 1945.
After the war Levingston became a union worker and specialized in cement finishing. He now enjoys fishing, playing dominoes and watching the stock market, according to 7 KPLC.
“I feel very good,” he said on the eve of his landmark birthday. “I’ve been through so many dangerous things, and I’m still here.”
Levingston’s Washington, D.C. adventure has been provided by Honor Flight Austin, marking the first time the nonprofit has given a trip to an out-of-state resident.
Speaking at his departure ceremony, Levingston said he was “humbled” by the people who supported him, according to the American Press.
And Levingston reminded the audience to celebrate veterans everywhere.
“Appreciate the service of not only me, but all these other servicemen that sacrificed their time and some of their them our lives,” he said. “You all don’t know how grateful I am.”