Lawrence Brooks is an American hero.
At 110, he is the oldest living World War II veteran in the United States.
Hundreds of people turned up to celebrate Brooks’ birthday at Louisiana’s National WWII Museum on Thursday.
He is now said to be one of less than 500 confirmed “supercentenarians” in the world. Brooks was drafted in 1940 and served in the Pacific Theater until 1945.
Brooks says he is very proud to be the second oldest living World War II veteran in the world, telling NOLA.com, “it makes me feel good. Yes, indeed it does.”
The New Orleans native was born in 1909 and served in the US Army between 1940 and 1945. He spent most his time in the Pacific Theater, attached to the mostly African-American 91st Engineering Battalion.
He was first drafted in 1940 at the age of 31 – at a time when all men had to register for Selective Service until 45.
After he completed his duty, Brooks was discharged on November 7, 1941. But, when the US entered the war just a month later, on December 7, he was recalled to the 91st.
Brooks has been married twice and has five children. Tragically two of his children have died and he was left widowed in 2005.
He is a proud papa to 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Despite his astonishing age, Brooks has managed to stay relatively healthy.
He has never had heart problems, cancer or any other major diseases, according to NOLA.
However, Brooks has gone blind in his right eye and the vision in his left eye is going. At the moment he’s recovering from a broken hi he sustained in December 2018.
He uses a walker to get around and to attend his beloved St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
“I’ve started to think about not having many birthdays left,” Brooks said. “But I’m not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already.”
Brooks has almost impeccable hearing and has to remind people that they don’t need to speak so loudly around him.
Brooks credits living with his daughter Vanessa, instead of being in a nursing home, as being the reason why he’s lived so much longer than expected.
“He sleeps later than he used to, and he has more pain because of his hip,” his daughter, Vanessa Brooks, said. “But he likes to eat and loves to get out and see people.”