A man believed to be the oldest living American World War II veteran celebrated his 110th birthday on Thursday, reports said.
Lawrence Brooks, who was born on September 12, 1909, celebrated the event at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, surrounded by family and friends.
“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,” according to a museum press release. “He reached the rank of private first class. He was the servant to three white officers in the battalion.”
Stephen Watson, the president and CEO of the museum, said, “The museum’s mission is to tell the important stories of the men and women who served in World War II. We are honored to celebrate Lawrence Brooks, whose life and service are filled with such stories of bravery and determination.”
“We are honored to have Mr. Brooks return to the Museum for another birthday celebration—the biggest one yet! We’ll welcome him back in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion and celebrate his extraordinary life,” the museum’s press release read.
While Brooks is reportedly the oldest living American World War II veteran, the oldest living World War II veteran is believed to be Gustav Gerneth of Germany, who is 113 years old.
“We absolutely love Mr. Brooks,” said museum Vice President Peter Crean. “We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.’”
The veteran said the love and appreciation he’s been given on his momentous birthday made him feel special.
“That makes me feel good,” Brooks commented. “Yes, indeed it does.”