Country music star John Rich presented Walton with the award during this year’s event, which was virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We thank you for your service, your dedication to this country and your message,” Rich said before congratulating him.
Appearing with his son Paul, Walton reacted by saying, “I am very proud to have something like that.”
Walton joined the Army at the age of 21, nine months before Pearl Harbor. Walton, now 101, has been traveling the country with the goal of meeting all 50 governors and anyone who wants to meet a World War II veteran before it’s too late. So far, he has visited 35 governors and met with President Trump in the Oval Office.
Walton launched his “No Regrets Tour” in 2018 at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans and has since met with the governors of Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, just to name a few.
Walton was born in 1919 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Jewish immigrant parents from Eastern Europe and raised in Brooklyn, but now lives in San Diego, Calif. In late 1944, he was preparing to be sent to Europe with his infantry unit when he broke his ankle during combat training and instead, was sent to Asia, where he served in the China-Burma-India region. Walton was discharged in 1946.
Walton, a retired chemical engineer, is accompanied on the state capital trips by his son.
Walton was one of nine American heroes, who have shown a steadfast dedication to the country, honored during the second annual event.
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Fox News’ Brian Flood and The Associated Press contributed to this report.