The men who served the United States in WWII are a dying breed – in fact, most of them have already passed on from this plane of existence to the next (where hopefully they will not be asked to save the world by enacting great mental and physical trauma on themselves).
They’re not all gone, though. One of those great, brave men just celebrated his 110th birthday.
Lawrence Brooks of New Orleans, Louisiana was born on September 12th, 1909, and had his most recent birthday celebration at the National World War II Museum in his hometown.
During the war, Brooks served in a primarily African-American unit in the army, the 91st Engineer Battalion, with which he was stationed in New Guinea before heading to the Philippines. He was active between 1940 and 1945, exiting duty as a Private 1st Class.
The National World War II Museum in New Orleans has hosted Brooks’ last five parties, loves doing it, and hopes to be asked to help celebrate for a few years yet to come.
“We absolutely love Mr. Brooks,” said a spokesperson for the museum. “We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.’ We consider him ‘our’ veteran.”
Though Brooks is definitely getting long in the tooth – he has poor vision and low blood pressure and requires a walker to get around – he’s thankful to have good hearing and to never have been faced with any serious diagnoses in his long life.
“I’ve started to think about not having many birthdays left. But I’m not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already. I think it’s because I’ve always liked people so much. Oh, yes, I do.”
It’s safe to say that plenty of people like him right back – including me, now that I’ve leaned a bit most about him.
Brooks takes over the title of oldest living WWII veteran from Mr. Richard Overton, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 112.