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As America's oldest living WWII veteran prepares to turn 111, wish him a happy birthday

World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks, 107, has the remains of red lipstick kisses across his forehead and cheek after getting kissed for his birthday from members of the World War II Museum's Victory Belles in New Orleans on Monday, Sept.12, 2016.

CHRIS GRANGER/THE TIMES-PICAYUNE VIA AP

By THE TIMES-PICAYUNE | THE NEW ORLEANS ADVOCATE Published: August 28, 2020

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NEW ORLEANS (Tribune News Service) — For the past five years, WWII Army veteran Lawrence Brooks has celebrated his birthday with pomp and ceremony — and lots of cake — at The National WWII Museum. It's a tradition he and the museum have grown to cherish.

This year, Brooks turns 111 years old, making him the oldest living World War II veteran.

But, due to the pandemic, the traditional gathering can't take place this year.

Instead, museum officials are hoping that New Orleanians will send Brooks a birthday card to commemorate his special day.

Brooks was born on Sept. 12, 1909, and was raised in Norwood, Louisiana. During World War II, he served in the predominantly African American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines.

Private First Class Brooks was one of more than 1.2 million African Americans who served in the segregated U.S. Armed Forces in World War II, striving for a "double victory" over tyranny abroad and racism and discrimination at home.

The museum is asking for birthday cards from throughout the community to help Brooks celebrate his special day.

Cards can be mailed to the museum and will be delivered to Brooks for his birthday on Sept. 12. Well-wishers should send their cards to:

The National WWII Museum
c/o Happy 111th Mr. Brooks!
945 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

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