America’s Oldest Living WWII Veteran Celebrates 112th Birthday
The oldest living American World War II veteran just celebrated another trip around the sun. 112-year-old Lawrence Brooks marked the milestone with a birthday drive-by celebration at his New Orleans home on Sunday, Sept. 12.
As people drove by, Brooks donned a Saint jersey, waved, and advised others to “serve God and be nice to people,” according to WDSU.
Brooks was born on Sept. 12, 1909 and served in the U.S. Army from 1940 to 1945. He was a member of the predominantly African American 91st Engineer Battalion. Brooks was initially stationed in New Guinea, followed by the Philippines and climbed the ranks to private first class during the second world war.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted a photo with Brooks on Sunday and thanked him for his service. Last year, on his 111th birthday, a flyover was organized with a WWII-era aircraft.
According to the Veterans Affairs, which confirmed Brooks is America’s oldest living veteran, he was drafted by the Army in 1940. He trained at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, and was honorably discharged in November 1941. However, Brooks was called back for service when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of that year.
After leaving the Army, he returned home to New Orleans where he worked many years operating a forklift. He married and had five kids, 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Sunday’s birthday celebration was organized by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Image source: CNN