America’s oldest living WWII vet Lawrence Brooks celebrates 112th birthday

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World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks holds a photo of him taken in 1943

The oldest living World War II veteran has celebrated another trip around the sun — his 112th, to be exact.

Lawrence Brooks was feted Sunday with birthday drive-by at his home in New Orleans, with video showing the bespectacled vet wearing a mask and Saints jersey and waving to the small crowd.

He advised others to “serve God and be nice to people,” according to WDSU.

Born on Sept. 12, 1909, Brook served in the US Army from 1940 to 1945 as part of the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion. He was stationed in New Guinea followed by the Philippines and rose to the rank of private first class during the war.

At that celebration, he was treated to songs — and kisses — from National WWII Museum in New Orleans’ vocal trio, the Victory Belles. 

According to the Veterans Affairs, which confirmed he is America’s oldest living veteran, Brooks was drafted by the Army in 1940. He trained at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, and was honorably discharged in November 1941.

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However, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Brooks was called back for service.

Happy Birthday to Mr. Lawrence Brooks of New Orleans
Lawrence Brooks is the oldest living WWII veteran in the US.
The National WWII Museum / Insta
World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks holds his hand to his heart during the singing of the National Anthem as he celebrates his 110th birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.
Lawrence Brooks was born Sept. 12, 1909, and served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

After the war, he returned home to New Orleans where he worked operating a forklift. He married and had five kids, and now has 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

He was widowed in 2005 when his second wife, Leona, died shortly after the couple was evacuated in a helicopter in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The birthday event on Sunday was organized by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks holds a dog tag honoring him as the oldest living World War II veteran.
World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks holds a dog tag honoring him as the oldest living World War II veteran.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

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