Relatives of the oldest-known World War II soldier in the United States, who died recently at the age of 112, have disclosed the secret to his long life.
Lawrence Brooks, according to Faithwire, was a much-loved veteran whose life was cherished and honored by friends and family.
Rev. Morris Thompson Jr., bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, wrote to church members: "When asked about the secret of living a long life, he would say: 'Serve God and be nice to people,'"
Brooks was a resident of New Orleans' Central City area at the time of his death. According to his daughter and caregiver, Vanessa Brooks, he died in his own bed at home, as he had desired, according to Military Times.
Residents gathered for a drive-by celebration organized by the National World War II Museum in September 2021 at Brooks' house in Central City, according to Nola. Brooks will have celebrated his 112th birthday in September 2021 at his home in Central City.
Brooks lived in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. He died in his own bed at home as per his wishes, his daughter and caregiver, Vanessa Brooks, told Military Times.
To commemorate Brooks' 112th birthday, the National World War II Museum organized a drive-by celebration in Central City in September 2021, Nola reported.
A traditional yearly celebration for Brooks is hosted by the museum; however, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the party has been delivered to Brooks' front door for the last two years.
At his most recent birthday celebration, however, guests were treated to a performance by the museum's singing trio, The Victory Belles, as well as a Jeep parade and additional entertainment provided by a variety of local artists.
Facts about him
For his service in World War II and his longevity, the World War II veteran has been regularly mentioned in the media. More than 10,000 birthday cards have been sent to Brooks throughout the years, according to The Army Times.
Throughout his long and remarkable life, Brooks was reportedly acutely conscious of its singularity. It was reported that in 2019, when asked about how many birthdays he had remaining, he joked that the Lord must have given him a "many birthdays left.
"I'm not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already," he reportedly said.
Despite the fact that Brooks fought at a period when troops were divided by race, he remembered his wartime experiences with fondness. However, as highlighted by the Army Times, he didn't appear to have any resentment against his prior hardships and indicated that he was treated properly by his superiors.
"I don't have no hard feelings toward nobody. I just want everything to be lovely, to come out right," he reportedly said in 2014. "I want people to have fun and enjoy themselves - be happy and not sad."
Born in 1909, Brooks was one of 15 children born to sharecroppers. His military service began in 1940, when he was recruited into the army and served for a year before returning to the Army after the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor.
Despite the fact that he did not participate in action with his unit, he spent time in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines, where he performed a variety of tasks, including those of chef and valet.