NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – America’s oldest living World War II veteran and Louisiana native Lawrence Brooks turned 112 on Saturday.
Born in in New Orleans in 1909, Brooks served as a support worker in the Army’s 91st Engineer Battalion, a majority African-American unit stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines during the war. He reached the rank of private first class.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wished Brooks a joyous birthday Saturday and thanked him on behalf of the entire state in a Facebook post that included a picture of the two standing masked in Brooks’ home, Saints memorabilia proudly displayed. On the wall, a framed Saints jersey with Brooks’ name on it and the number 108 from his birthday celebration four years ago.
As of 2020, only 325,574 of the 16 million who served in the war are still alive and according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, we are losing more than 290 veterans a day.