On Sept. 12, Army Veteran Lawrence Brooks of New Orleans marked his 112th birthday. He is the nation’s oldest WWII Veteran and a patient at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.

VA staff in New Orleans considers caring for him to be one of their greatest privileges.

Brooks was born in 1909 in Norwood, LA, and moved to New Orleans in 1929 before being drafted into the U.S Army in 1940. He deployed with the 91st Engineers Battalion. After returning home, he went on to marry and raise a family of five children, 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.

In the week before Brooks’ 112th birthday, he was visited by Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Donald Remy and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Director Fernando Rivera.

“Courage, kindness and generosity of spirit.” 

“It was an honor to meet Mr. Brooks, a personal hero of mine,” said Remy, who is also an Army Veteran. “His courage, kindness and generosity of spirit set an example we should all aspire to.”

During his visit with Remy and Rivera, Brooks shared stories from his life as well as a bit of advice he often gives to those who ask him his secret to longevity: “Serve God and be nice to people.”

Brooks is well known in New Orleans with his last several birthdays having been celebrated at large public events. For his birthday in 2020, after an appointment at the New Orleans VA, he was greeted by an outdoor receiving line of health care staff wishing him a happy birthday.

Parade and new roof

In addition to the celebration at the medical center, his health care providers planned a birthday parade down the street past his home. Media covered the parade along with the donation of a new roof for Brooks’ home.

“Mr. Brooks is an inspiration to all of us at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System who are privileged to care for him,” Rivera said. “He is an American hero who we are proud to serve.”

Brooks’ VA health team has been there with him through difficult times as well as the happier ones.

20,000th COVID-19 vaccine

“Over the decades while we have provided Mr. Brooks’ care, his family has become a part of ours,” Rivera added. “He is an active partner in his health care plan and we are proud they trust us to provide safe, well-coordinated services to meet his needs.”

On Feb. 8, 2021, Brooks received the hospital’s 20,000th COVID-19 vaccine. After receiving the injection, Brooks was overjoyed, exclaiming, “I finally got it!”

By Jessica Jacobsen is director of the Dallas Regional Office of Public Affairs

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Published on Sep. 19, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 328


  1. Margaret M. Woods September 28, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Honored to read about your story and life of service to our nation. You are a true hero and your advice is priceless. May God bless and keep you, Happy 112th and thank you for your service! #GOARMY

  2. Constalina James September 24, 2021 at 6:26 am

    Thank you for serving our great country Mr. Brooks, and for helping to pave the way for me and other Veterans to get services. Happy 112th Birthday and many blessings more. Thank you for the excellent tips to longevity. Love you ♥️ and continue to ne blessed. See you next year!

  3. Michael E. Hensley September 24, 2021 at 5:12 am

    It is an honor to call you a fellow vet.
    May you have many, many more Birthdays
    From a 70’s Navy Vietnam Vet

  4. JIM CONLEY September 23, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Happy Birthday Sir

  5. Joseph Dominic Sanzo III September 23, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Excellent for Mr Brooks I hope he makes it snd live a much more longer life,God bless him and God keep him,JDS III

  6. Stan Lore September 22, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Imagine today’s world if everyone lived by his two principles. Imagine.

Comments are closed.

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