Editor's Note: Lawrence Brooks died on January 5, 2022, at the age of 112, the National WWII Museum said in a statement.
The memories are more than 75 years old now: Cooking red beans and rice halfway around the world from the place in Louisiana that first made the recipe. Cleaning uniforms and shining shoes for three officers. Hopping in foxholes when his trained ear could tell the approaching warplanes were not American but Japanese.
The man who keeps these memories is older still. At 110, Lawrence Brooks is the oldest known U.S. veteran of World War II. This month marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. Of the 16 million U.S. veterans who served, about 300,000 are still alive today, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (Hear from the last living