World’s Oldest Living WWII Veteran Just Celebrated a Milestone Birthday


 By Amanda Thomason  September 14, 2021 at 2:58pm

Lawrence Brooks has experienced much in his life as the oldest known living World War II veteran. This year, he celebrated his 112th birthday with much fanfare.

Brooks was born in Norwood, Louisiana, but has lived in New Orleans since 1929. After returning from his time in the military, which ended in 1945, he settled down and had five kids with his wife.

He now has 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

The exceptional gentleman has made it to an amazing age, and the National WWII Museum made sure he knows it by celebrating his birthday on Sunday, as it has done for years.

Given the times, the party has come to Brooks the past two years.

“Lawrence Brooks, a New Orleans native and the oldest known U.S. veteran of World War II celebrated his 112th birthday at his home yesterday,” the National WWII Museum posted on Monday.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Ida, The National WWII Museum arranged a small, birthday celebration with cake, a performance from the Museum’s vocal trio, The Victory Belles, and a Jeep parade courtesy of Kajun Outcast Jeep Club and Northshore Wrangler Association,” the post said.

“Entertainment included the Lawrence Brooks Birthday Band, a collection of local New Orleans musicians presented by the Bucktown All-Stars. The City of New Orleans also issued an official proclamation recognizing his milestone birthday.

“Born Sept. 12, 1909, Lawrence Brooks served the US Army in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II.”

The governor recognized the auspicious day and the veteran with his own Facebook post.

“Happy 112th birthday to Mr. Lawrence Brooks, America’s oldest living World War II veteran and a proud Louisianan,” Gov. John Bel Edwards posted on Sunday.

“Mr. Brooks, the entire state of Louisiana thanks you for your service and we all wish you a joyous birthday,” he said.

Many commented on the museum’s post to thank Brooks for his service and send their best wishes.

“The best birthday yet!” the Victory Belles commented. “We had a blast. We love you, Mr. Brooks!”

As far as advice goes, Brooks keeps it simple. He told WDSU-TV that he encourages others to “serve God and be nice to people.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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