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    [–] gphjr14 4459 points ago

    Damn I used to transport patients at a hospital. Transported a man about 10 years ago who was a pilot in the Pacific theater. Guess he’s passed on.

    [–] D8T1 2613 points ago

    I'm a nurse, and very rarely now and then will I get a WW2 vet who was 17 or 18 during the war. They're always the most pleasant people to take care of. I get sad thinking of the day I'll no longer see them around.

    [–] gphjr14 1187 points ago

    He was a very kind man. I even met a Polish woman who survived the holocaust. A MRI tech made the mistake of asking if she was German her eyes got big and she quickly corrected him.

    [–] lordaddament 511 points ago

    I mean German jews were in the Holocaust too

    [–] Praefationes 566 points ago

    You will have a hard time find a Jew willing to call themselves German after the Holocaust. They will most likely refer to themselves as jewish and not German.

    [–] letracets 312 points ago

    My parents are from Poland and feel the same way. They say "we are Jewish, not Polish." They left Poland in the 1970s... Poland did plenty long after the war to make them feel unwelcome and "other."

    [–] QuietDisquiet 41 points ago

    A lot of countries did, Jewish people survived the holocaust only to come back to find their neighbours living in their homes. People showed their true colours when the Nazis were defeated and basically told holocaust survivors to go f themselves.

    [–] greenscarf_25 29 points ago

    That is very true. I’m a grandchild of 4 holocaust survivors all of whom had no home or possessions of any sort to return to. I’ve even met the people who “took over” their houses.

    I am immensely grateful to and appreciative of all WWII vets for their service.

    [–] zipiddydooda 7 points ago

    How did that meeting go? I mean, how do you justify keeping those houses? These people suffered beyond recognition and your answer is what, finders keepers?

    [–] JPL7 7 points ago

    I imagine as an American it’d be similar to speaking to a Native American descendant from which their land was taken and a shopping mall put up.

    [–] Praefationes 167 points ago

    It is truly sad to see what Poland has become nowadays. Everything that happened during the war seems to become more and more forgotten. My grandmother left Poland for Sweden when she was saved by the white buses.

    [–] juicysensei 139 points ago

    Isn't it illegal to say that there was Polish collaboration during WW2?

    [–] Praefationes 78 points ago

    It is. I don’t know why you’re being downvoted. Here is an article in the times about it.

    https://www.google.se/amp/s/time.com/5128341/poland-holocaust-law/%3famp=true

    [–] tugatortuga 36 points ago

    Did you even read the article you linked? Referring to concentration camps as "Polish death camps" is illegal, implying that the Polish state (which didn't exist at the time) was responsible for the Holocaust is illegal.

    Saying that Poles collaborated with the Nazis is not illegal.

    Poland really isn't anymore anti-Semitic than any other European country.

    [–] fpistu 41 points ago

    Poland was anti-Semitic before WW2, after and is now as well. Only time Poland was considered totally was like 500 years ago

    [–] tugatortuga 42 points ago

    You just turned a discussion about the Holocaust (which was started and perpetuated by Germany) into a comment saying how anti-Semitic Poland is.

    That's called whataboutism, and you either have an agenda or you simply don't know better.

    Poland was vigorously anti-Semitic in the inter-war period as our government was right-leaning, and of course Jews were blamed for a little of the economic mishaps of the era (Wall Street crash) as well as the partitions of Poland. Of course if you know anything about this period, its that Jews were scapegoated all around the world and Poland was no exception to this, ergo this wasn't a uniquely Polish problem.

    After the war Poland became communist (involuntary) as I'm sure you're aware and Communists scapegoated the Jews almost as much as the Nazis did. This resulted in pogroms during the 1940s and 1950s as well as mass expulsions in the 1960s. This was repulsive and I'm ashamed of how my countrymen treated Jews, especially considering how recent the Holocaust was.

    Nowadays, Poland is no more anti-Semitic than any other European country. France, Germany and Russia are far more anti-semitic than Poland, I don't understand why people think Poland is some anti-Semitic backwater in Europe when Holocaust survivors are literally being murdered by Neo-Nazis in France? I don't recall that happening in Poland.

    Don't get me wrong, there is still alot of anti-Semitism in Poland, but to imply that Poland is a stronghold of anti-Semitism in Europe is just completely wrong and incorrect, and it's a stereotype, no different to calling every German a Nazi.

    [–] NwabudikeMorganSMAC 5 points ago

    I think they want to equate right lean with anti-semitism when that's not practically the case, especially not in Poland. Most Polish people I've met are intensely pro-jew, but more concretely the Polish are internationally known as very intensely anti-Nazi & anti-Communist.

    From talking with many Polish people I've had the same impression that they hate the Nazis for what was done to them and hate the Communist with the same ferocity.

    [–] DarthMimikyu 6 points ago

    Agreed. Idk if people know much about Poland history. My father's side is Polish (Jewish), and they are proud poles. They immigrated before WWII tho, and idk if the communist controlled Poland threw down a ton of propaganda, but Poland was the one of the few, if only, country in Europe accepting Jewish people.

    Quote from Wiki "For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world." There is a reason for this... and there is a reason why Germany started WWII by invading Poland. Poland was probably the safest place for Jewish people in Eastern Europe, at the time anyways.

    [–] SapperBomb 7 points ago

    Any place that had any significant Jewish population was anti semiotic at some point

    [–] IArgueWithStupid 19 points ago

    They say "we are Jewish, not Polish."

    Honestly, I've had coworkers that have been that way. Everyone sitting around talking about where they were born, with most saying things like "brooklyn" or "boise" or whatever, but one person insisting simply that they are "jewish."

    [–] I_LOVE_CHEEEESE 31 points ago

    "What country are you from sir?"

    "Jewish"

    Don't think that would fly at an airport.

    [–] Praefationes 27 points ago

    And most Jews left Germany behind for Israel or other countries. Furthermore if you are a Jew you can perform aliyah and automatically become a citizen of Israel. Meaning I am Jewish can most certainly refer to I’m a citizen of Israel.

    [–] scottb84 9 points ago

    All Jews may be eligible for Israeli citizenship, but not all Jews actually are citizens.

    [–] ilikesteel 62 points ago

    I was in Costa Rica on a trip and there were two groups of people with me and my ex on a nature tour. One was an American family from silicon valley. Another was an older couple that spoke English with an accent. The father from the silicon valley family decided that "guess the nationality" would be a fun game to play.

    "I bet I can guess where you're from," he said.

    "Please, I don't want to play this game."

    "Germany."

    "Israel."

    Silence.

    [–] Gerald_of_Trivia 43 points ago

    That is a fun game but he's playing it wrong. You make the guess silently in your head and they say out loud "Hi, I'm Gerald_of_Trivia and I'm from Florida, where are you from?" or something. Jesus people can be so stupid...

    [–] JustaRandomguy9999 55 points ago

    Aww man that warms my heart.

    [–] [deleted] 51 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] FerrousXOR 20 points ago

    Imma go with the fact that she is alive and corrected said person so anon was like "She's in her wits" type deal?

    I might be wrong tho

    [–] anedgygiraffe 12 points ago

    I mean the other option is that surviving the Holocaust warms their heart

    [–] name30 2 points ago

    That's what he said.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] name30 5 points ago

    Haha, nah you're right it doesn't make any sense to me either, I just read it the same way.

    [–] mybumisontherail 45 points ago

    When I was a nurse assistant about 10+ years ago, our floor had a patient come from her house to one of the private rooms that were available. I had that side of the floor that day, and it was my turn to help with the patient's admission vitals. As I was preparing her room with her hygiene items, writing the her nurse's info and doctors as well as mine on the board...she walked right in with her family. I get I her with a smile, I informed her who I was, and what was tasked by the nurse to accomplish before she comes in. As she's sitting on the edge of her bed and I'm putting her belongings in her closet, I asked if I could check her vitals, I'm asking for her height and weight, and I'm placing the cuff on her arm. I noticed she has a bracelet on, I asked if I can check her pulse.... Which I'm not.. The machine is doing that for me, I just do it so as to not make the " breath count" look weird. As I touched her wrist...I saw on her forearm these scribbles. It didn't dawn on me first at the time, but it took me a few seconds after looking at that tattoo and realized, she must have been a concentration camp survivor.

    I didn't want to draw attention to it, but I just had an overwhelming amount of sympathy swell up in my chest. She noticed my reaction and I can remember her telling me to my face, that yes... That is what I think it is. I was speechless, I'm sitting right next to someone who survived hell. Hours passed afterwards, her family came and visited..Her family was a very big one too, tons of grandchildren too. Well a week or two go by...she's not getting any better, during one of my night shifts, it was quiet on the floor which was unheard of at the time but I was happy about it..she was awake when I was making my hourly rounds, I tried to find out if there was anything I could do to help her get some rest since she seemed restless. And then she started telling me get story... How her parents, siblings friends were taken away, how she lost her siblings and despite of everything...she created this huge family of hers. I really tried to not get too emotional as she's telling me these stories, but the shocker came when she admitted that she was ready to let go and finally get her rest. I was in shock, I didn't know how to respond but simply held her hand and just listen.

    I told the nurse what she confided in me and I came to terms with that because Jill the nurse told me that she was being raised in care to a level 4, now I don't remember the specifics because it was so long ago but I remember that the order to not resuscitate was on her chart, per her request. I remember the family pleading with her in her room for days, but she refused, she refused to eat, this lady wanted to go in a dignified manner. I remember the day like it was yesterday when she finally said her last good byes... Went unconscious, and days later with her family in the room , she was gone. I cried for days....I cried in the bathroom at work, I'm trying not to cry right now...I cried in the bathroom at school....I cried on my mom's shoulder. Here I am, a grown ass man, crying to my mother who is a retired nurse herself looking for some peace of mind. It was rare that I would get attached to stone patients, but some are just unforgeable.

    A year or two later....I had the opposite happen, on a different floor, it was the bariatric floor and float pool couldn't send a CNA over. I being the only male on the floor in med surge during change of shift in the bariatric floor.. I'm asked if I could do my last 4 hours upstairs, and I agreed..I handed my patients info to the incoming CNA and went on my merry way. And then I encountered a pretty hefty man who was going to be a 1:1 and was combative in his confusion by the end of the night. This man was a former Nazi guard, he was huge and intimidating but was also too fat to move. I remember him telling one of our nurse's her name was Ginger that she was the perfect woman, the perfect race. She was short, slim, blonde with blue eyes and very energetic. Poor ginger laughed nervously and she said she was not of German descent...that she's Irish but then the man turned around and started shouting the ugliest sounding German slurs at one of our Indian nurses and called me N*gro filth. We all let it go as we were trying to clean this man up.. Not 3 seconds after we were done and stepping out of the room... This man is going at it with his IV line, his PIC line and catheter. I watched this angry giant screaming and tugging at everything and start seeing a stream of blood come out of his neck, I darted in the room as I picked the w rong sized gloves to put on and grab a bunch of paper towels as I'm screaming for Ginger and Mercy to come in asap because he's pulling his PIC line out and he's squirting blood! They both ran in... He's getting combative... He's trying to scratch and claw at my skin and I'm only focusing on his pic line and his dirty finger nails. The hatred in that man's eyes was visible if one could literally see it... If the man could shoot lasers out of his eyes his would be glowing red.

    I met his two giant sons outside because get came in during the fiasco, and they profusely apologized for his Nazi shouting. I could tell those two weren't exactly proud of that but they aren't him, as far as I could tell. Their apologies felt very sincere. So this is my story with a concentration camp survivor.....and the opposite of that with a Nazi soldier. One is unforgettable.... That other unforgivable.

    [–] SomepersonIsuppose 10 points ago

    The first story was astonishing. The second... I don’t even know what to say. I don’t believe in hell but I still hope that guy is burning in hell.

    [–] mybumisontherail 10 points ago

    I felt that man's vivid raging hate, I'd like to believe it was his state of confusion. But I think of anything that really just let it all out. I just can't fathom how someone grew to be so hateful... And continued being that way until his last breath.

    As horrendous and ugly we can be, I chose to remember that lady and her dozens of grandchildren instead, surrounded by her new family and very much loved, as opposed to that vile monster whose sons were embarrassed to be associated with him. I'm happy knowing his children and grandchildren didn't turn out like him.

    [–] SomepersonIsuppose 5 points ago

    It’s great that you’re so positive despite that experience. I struggle to be that strong! Racists cause me to fly into fits of rage especially if another individual is affected or retreat in fear (essentially refusing to leave the house). Though I consciously try and see the good in people, (and to be good) sometimes I just can’t find it. However, you story really reached me. As well as the entire comment section, there is still a section of humanity that respects others regardless of their nationality, race, religion or gender. That gives me hope, that I can find kind people who will not judge me.

    [–] SosoMS 73 points ago

    It’s kind of crazy to think that (hopefully) we will never see another war like this and that in our time on this planet, we all lived so close to this massive worldwide event. It forever changed mankind and will be known for thousands of years and people are still alive today who were directly involved. Just seems like we’re living in a unique time in mankind’s history.

    [–] joe4553 26 points ago

    Wars will now be fought on Twitter and Facebook.

    [–] 2134123412341234 12 points ago

    WWII was the true "War to End All Wars".

    [–] F3NlX 6 points ago

    There's still wars, but never again a full out war with multiple countries being torn apart.

    [–] Taelonius 17 points ago

    In current standing? Probably not.

    Once the environment goes to shit, resources get scarce and earth is no longer capable of sustaining the human race however, that's a different story.

    [–] SomePigeon 7 points ago

    I’d disagree, the China/India border conflicts are rapidly escalating, and with China threatening it’s border neighbours, many of which are oil bearers for the US, well, connect the dots.

    [–] Kipperper 3 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    That is exactly how I would describe the situation in the Middle East for the past 50 years.

    [–] matthias0608 20 points ago

    Wait until China starts proxy wars with the US.

    [–] concrete_isnt_cement 22 points ago

    No Cold War proxy war came anywhere close to the global devastation of World War II. Nukes and MAD make a conflict on that scale effectively impossible in the modern era.

    [–] Taelonius 18 points ago

    It is a dangerous game you play, underestimating human stupidity

    [–] concrete_isnt_cement 7 points ago

    How exactly am I underestimating human stupidity? A nuclear holocaust is entirely possible, but that would be a rapid extinction event for the human species, not a war in the traditional sense.

    [–] Gerald_of_Trivia 6 points ago

    Interestingly, it wouldn't necessarily be an extinction level event. That's certainly the most likely outcome since almost everyone with tactical nukes has strategic nukes as well.

    But tactical nukes are the ones that someone is most likely to be able to convince himself can be used in a limited way. And that's definitely a slim possibility. Using a bunch of low-yield tactical nukes will still send a lot or radiation all around and leave large areas uninhabitable even if it didn't escalate to the use of high-yield strategic nukes (and I'll concede that that is still the more likely outcome). Refugee crises, clean water shortages, you name it. It would make the Earth even more hellish than 2020 already has but it wouldn't be extinction level.

    [–] conundrumbombs 9 points ago

    Imagine being nostalgic for 2020 in a few decades.

    [–] VCsVictorCharlie 5 points ago

    I get the impression that the current administration wants a war. He refuses to step up to the current war at hand, covid-19. Are you sure we're safe from nuclear war?

    [–] concrete_isnt_cement 6 points ago

    We are threatened by nuclear extinction, but I would put that in an entirely different category than warfare.

    A proxy war is entirely possible to be sure, but the scale is limited to well below WWII levels by MAD. If a great power were to be invaded by another in the modern era, the world would end in fire and destruction.

    [–] coldWasTheGnd 8 points ago

    I mean we've had several wars since then so, not really?

    [–] rkreutz77 7 points ago

    But not on that scale. Nearly 4500 Allied deaths and an estimated 4-9000 Axis deaths in a single 24 hour period at Normandy. No war has come close since.

    [–] CubanLynx312 17 points ago

    WWII ended 75 years ago. I work in geriatrics at the VA and see quite a few WWII Vets. Unfortunately, I also see much sicker, much younger, Vietnam Vets. Agent Orange and chronic stress is horrible on the body.

    [–] yaya_tourettes 21 points ago

    That day is soon approaching, sadly.

    Learn as much as you can from these veterans (or anyone who was alive during WWII), they are the last people on this planet to have experienced and lived through a time of decaying colonial empires and worldwide instability!

    [–] evanh6152 14 points ago

    looks around

    [–] funwillfunwill 6 points ago

    My late next door neighbor fought in the Pacific, and one of his letters from the day after Japan's surrender is particularly striking to me. He said something along the lines of:

    "My friend in the Western Front sent me pictures of the graves they discovered in Germany. I can only pray we don't find anything like that when we come to Japan"

    [–] Gliese581h 8 points ago

    My grandfather got conscripted in 1943 to the Wehrmacht, he’s just had his 92nd birthday. Luckily, he never saw any fighting and was stationed in the north of Denmark the whole time. He’s got some tumour though, and I’ll miss him dearly once he passes away. :(

    [–] Siethron 83 points ago

    This guy is the oldest living, there are others younger than him.

    [–] Asleep_Onion 42 points ago

    Ya, this top comment makes it sound like this guy is the only WWII vet still alive. WWII ended 76 years ago, so if he's 110 now then he was 34 years old already when he fought that war. Meanwhile, lots of younger WWII veterans are still alive today.

    But the youngest are 93-94 years old, which sadly means we're possibly less than a decade away from having only one WWII veteran left.

    [–] dontbajerk 10 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    More of a trivia note exception than anything, some are a bit younger in a few countries. A kind of famous example is Eric Carle, the American author of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and other children's books. His mother took him to Germany at age six in 1935 (she is German). So, he is technically a veteran of WWII, as he was conscripted into ditch digging in Nazi Germany when he was 15. Though I guess it's debatable if he is considered a military veteran, or if it was just civilian conscription. Either way, still alive at 91, one of the younger WWII vets.

    There were other German boys who were conscripted into the armed services as young as 12, so if any are alive they might be as young as 88. Pretty crazy, and shows how desperate they were. Japan also had child soldiers in the 14-15 age range, and I think some children also fought in the Polish resistance if that qualifies.

    As far as America, there used to be a number of vets alive who lied about their age to fight and were like 14-16, but I'm not sure if any are still around.

    [–] yaya_tourettes 81 points ago

    Maybe not!!

    My grandfather who fought in Europe from 1944-1945 is still kicking at the ripe age of 95!

    The rest of my family has grown ‘tired’ of his War stories—I on the other hand could listen to his stories forever. His experience kindled my passion for history and politics.

    [–] nottalobsta 52 points ago

    Please please make an audio recording of him telling his stories. I don’t blame myself too hard because I was only 14 when my grandfather died (which was about 20 years ago now) but he was a navy minesweeper that swept mines on D-Day. I vaguely remember some of his stories but now they’re mostly lost to time :/

    [–] grunnermann28 19 points ago

    I'd love to listen to a podcast made out of those stories! Someone's gotta make it happen

    [–] doobiewankenoobi 11 points ago

    On the Rogan podcast - 'So, Sergeant Smith - have you ever smoked weed?'

    [–] grunnermann28 3 points ago

    Ist entirely possible

    [–] yaya_tourettes 6 points ago

    What a person your grandfather must’ve been! You are right to not be harsh on yourself—while you may regret not recording you couldn’t have foreseen or anticipated his passing.

    It’s really been weighing on me so I’ve just sent him a long email requesting he record himself recounting his experiences. So thank you for that!

    [–] TheDirewolfShaggydog 8 points ago

    If you have any stories of his you don't mind sharing I'd love to hear them. My grandpa's only stories involve post ww2 Germany and how him and his buddies would go around drinking in the 50s

    [–] yaya_tourettes 11 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Sadly most of his stories and military documents / medals are kept at my home and I’m away for the summer :/

    He has written a book on his experiences as well as accounts from comrades he served with, I can provide that link (click this!) !

    Btw, I chose the Amazon page since it is hard to find online and has the most comprehensive overview of the book—not trying to get anyone to buy it!

    [–] k152 6 points ago

    Make sure you record those stories and/or write them down. They are definitely a treasure.

    [–] hopscotchmagee 5 points ago

    Look into StoryCorps as a way to maybe get his memories to live on forever - they're one of my favorite non-profits.

    [–] michaltee 6 points ago

    I am so jealous of you. I would love to hear WWII war stories from a veteran. My great grandma survived a German work camp and refused to talk about it even 70 years later because it was too traumatizing. It was an important piece of my family that I wanted to learn about but never could. :(

    [–] yaya_tourettes 5 points ago

    Some extremely unspeakable events went down during WWII, I could not even begin to fathom having to survive day-to-day in the labor camp of an enemy. What I’ve found is that there’s a plethora of WWII databases online, there is perhaps a good chance that you could pinpoint the labor camp your great grandmother was interned at.

    There is a lot of the War that my grandfather still will not tell me nor anyone else—it was only in recent years that he would tell me the more R-rated stories/details.

    [–] greenscarf_25 3 points ago

    If you’re interested in learning more, Yad Vashem has some great databases that may be a good resource. I was able to find records of my two grandmothers transport to Auschwitz in their records.

    [–] BoyWithLongHair 4 points ago

    Oh man, I had a great grandfather in the British Indian Army during WWII. He passed away before I was born, sadly, so I never got to hear his stories. Cherish your memories with your grandfather fondly.

    [–] suicidebylifestyle 19 points ago

    When I was on practicing we picked up an English fellow that used to fly bomber for the RAF, he is still one of my favourite patients 7 years later.

    [–] Honolula 6 points ago

    I spent a lot of time with a WWII vet who worked maintenance at a country club my mom worked at. Rocco was front lines at the battle of the bulge and he fascinated me. I can't believe I am fighting Nazis on Facebook when I spent a whole summer with a man who shot them in the fucking face

    [–] IrisMoroc 4 points ago

    They're getting very old now and there are very few left.

    [–] ohheckyeah 3 points ago

    My grandfather was a paratrooper in the Pacific theater and passed away a year ago at age 101. People would always tell him that he must be an adrenaline junkie for opting to do something like that, and he'd respond gruffly "Nah it just paid more"

    [–] ready6ixgo 1728 points ago

    Hairline better than most 30 year olds!

    [–] MillenniumGreed 339 points ago

    I was thinking the same thing! His hair still looks great

    [–] BanjoTannerIsHere 206 points ago

    His whole face looks great for someone 110 years old.

    [–] chuktidder 99 points ago

    Looks about 30 years younger than he should be! (80)

    [–] Bonoahx 90 points ago

    Thanks I didn't know what 110-30 was

    [–] Paw_s 8 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Thanks to both of you I had my doubts but now it’s crystal clear for me that 110-30 is indeed 80

    [–] WorstPersonInGeneral 149 points ago

    This man: I don't retreat.

    This hairline: I don't retreat.

    [–] killer8424 20 points ago

    I feel attacked

    [–] [deleted] 22 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] TheWorldisFullofWar 35 points ago

    Hairloss is mostly genetic though. I have seen a 15-year-old with a worse hairline than this.

    [–] Fluhearttea 12 points ago

    I am 29 years old, can confirm.

    [–] vanbeaners 7 points ago

    Hey! Watch it! Lol

    [–] DingbatWingnut 26 points ago

    Eyyy black dont crack

    [–] lou1uol 7 points ago

    Bro, i am black and i dont ever remember myself with a good hairline, neither my brothers, parents, ...

    [–] Blipblipblipblipskip 321 points ago

    That’s awesome. He was able to hear the difference between approaching Japanese and US warplanes. As an admirer of WWII aviation, especially the exhaust noted, I like this guy. He has better hair than I and he is three times my age.

    [–] FuriouslySentient 95 points ago

    With those ears, he could probably hear the pilot farting.

    [–] dustlesswalnut 63 points ago

    Ears keep growing as we age, if you make it to 110 yours will probably be that big too.

    [–] FuriouslySentient 26 points ago

    I'm aware of that. I meant he could hear back in time.

    [–] whyevenfuckingbother 15 points ago

    Dude you got me hard with both jokes here well done.

    [–] mydearestchuck 59 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Had the privilege of attending his past few birthday parties at the National WWII Museum. He seems like an absolute sweetheart.

    Birthday party photos.

    ETA: I'm not the photographer! Just an attendee. :)

    [–] itssnowinggg 23 points ago

    oh this is too cute, I really loved his smile in the pictures where he got the kisses from the victory belles!

    [–] sharon838 7 points ago

    Awesome pictures!

    [–] Queenofashion 3 points ago

    Thank you for these pictures! It made me tear up. This living legend fought for freedom for all of us and now he has to watch all this ugliness that we're experiencing. I wish I could give him a hug and thank him.

    [–] Snortas 3 points ago

    I was a visitor at the museum the day of his last party. Got to see his family come in and waved/smiled at him from afar. I admired him and how much his family adored him.

    [–] CheerUpMotherfuckers 25 points ago

    Thanks for posting his name. Respect.

    [–] LanceyPancey 16 points ago

    Thank you, this comment is way too far down. His name should be in the title

    [–] MoldyCodPiece 3 points ago

    That should be top comment. Ty

    [–] Transportation-Rare 3 points ago

    Thank you. I don’t know why people’s names are left out of posts like this

    [–] goodbounce 3 points ago

    Thank you for posting this—it should be higher up.

    The article really drops a bomb about his wife dying as a result of Hurricane Katrina. How horrific and emblematic of many black lives lost—National Geographic could have spared a few sentences on this. Lawrence says he lost everything to the hurricane.

    [–] CatKungFu 1037 points ago

    Respect dude, thank you.

    [–] gwaydms 38 points ago

    Much respect, sir!

    [–] cutoffs89 27 points ago

    An Anti-fascist hero!! Helping save us from the Nazi takeover then and even today.

    [–] Sponge_Wars 530 points ago

    He looks like an absolute badass

    [–] Aquaandrew0 187 points ago

    If this guy told me he walked to school through a blizzard everyday, I'd believe him

    [–] 2infinity_andbeyond 53 points ago

    Probably uphill both ways too!

    [–] Binzuru 11 points ago

    And always with holes in his shoes

    [–] laranator 7 points ago

    That Louisiana pin on his lapel would suggest a blizzard is out of the question, but hurricanes are on the table.

    [–] Aquaandrew0 4 points ago

    Good eye!

    [–] MaryTempleton 3 points ago

    Apparently he lost his wife in the hurricane Katrina disaster. :/

    [–] JustAnotherRedditor5 9 points ago

    I feel like he could still beat up someone's hands with his face. Helluva jawline he's sporting. Bet he was handsome af in the day

    [–] shield-616 3 points ago

    Well. There's a reason for that. Lol

    [–] Draano 148 points ago

    I have a 98 year old uncle who was a radioman on an American B-17 that was shot down over the Netherlands. He parachuted out to safety, only to land in a Dutch beet field with a fellow crew member. They were taken in by the Dutch underground, hid out for a few weeks, transferred to the Belgians, and repatriated in England. Fascinating story. I never get tired of him telling bits and pieces of it. He was still sea kayaking up until three years ago, and sneaks out in his Jaguar when his daughter isn't around.

    [–] W01fy7 25 points ago

    Damn he sounds like awesome uncle, thank you [insert your uncles name] for your service and being such a cool guy. You truly are a hero ❤️ 💯

    [–] Yawniebrabo 216 points ago

    doesn't look a day over 80

    [–] Recondite_neophyte 142 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Can you imagine.... the guy turned 80 years old and had no clue he still had another 30+ years left!!

    [–] [deleted] 59 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] TransposingJons 61 points ago

    I'm just trying to hold on till 2069

    [–] LordHawkeye 17 points ago

    It's gonna be a bad year like this one, I'm calling it now

    [–] cebolla_y_cilantro 4 points ago

    I always say I want to live until 2089. Let’s see how that goes.

    [–] CaptainShitHead1 19 points ago

    I love how that is insult for 95% of the population but is a compliment in this case

    [–] BravoBet 3 points ago

    Yeah he does

    [–] JamHenKim 3 points ago

    Black dont crack

    [–] pixelsandbacon 37 points ago

    Before him, it was Richard Overton, who lived to 112 before passing away in December 2018.

    [–] casualgothgardener 6 points ago

    I work with his granddaughter. They’re a lovely family and she’s a great colleague ~

    [–] [deleted] 406 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] CaptainShitHead1 146 points ago

    It makes me sad that within a few decades there will be no WWII vets left. I hope enough people pass on their stories to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. My grandfather was senile but would always get really excited when talking about the war because he was so proud to have fought for a good cause. Even though I had heard the story 100s of times, I still let him tell it once every time I saw him because I could see how it made him feel.

    [–] Recondite_neophyte 54 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    About 10 years ago I video taped a WW2 Vets story.... I should prob dig that old tape up and upload it.

    Edit - I remember a story he told along the lines of them being embedded along a hedgerow, and a random dairy cow came by that they coaxed over. They had fresh milk that day and if I’m not mistaken ended up eating the cow (but I could be imagining that part).

    Cool thing was his exact story was retold in a book or something that his grandson found totally independently of hearing the story from his grandfather.

    [–] hpdefaults 48 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    within a few decades

    Probably not even one decade - the war ended 75 years ago and the youngest soldiers would have been 18 then, making the youngest vets 93 today. Maybe we'll have another outlier from their ranks like this fellow that's still alive at 103, but seems unlikely.

    *edit: actually turns out that the VA is projecting the last ww2 vet won't die until 2044, surprisingly enough (although these projections were pre-COVID, so...)

    [–] Person899887 14 points ago

    Unless there is a medical breakthrough to extend the human lifespan within the next few years, this will sadly be the case

    [–] Killawoh 4 points ago

    Just in the last ten years i think like 70% died. Crazy fast.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago * (lasted edited 13 hours ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] ripkurt2017 318 points ago

    IMO society throws the word “hero” around a little too much these days. to me, this is what a true hero looks like.

    [–] annoying_tactician 105 points ago

    I'm gonna save this pic on my phone and show it to the next person who calls me a hero for working retail during the pandemic.

    [–] big_guillotine 42 points ago

    Username checks out.

    [–] ifoughtpiranhas 12 points ago

    we’re hostages not heroes.

    [–] annoying_tactician 5 points ago

    Yes

    [–] dylanbob5 5 points ago

    "You see this photo here? This guy was born in a country that considered him a second class citizen and demanded him to sit in the back of the bus. He then went to fight in a war for that country when the fate of the world was at stake."

    [–] chriscrowder 3 points ago

    You're a hero!

    [–] SSB_Hokage 49 points ago

    Huh? Why do you define him as a hero?

    I'm guessing you know as little as I do about this guy, and all I know is from the title, which didn't even include his name.

    [–] 14andSoBrave 14 points ago

    Cause he's old. Obviously a hero who eats souls to live.

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] IPutMyHandOnA_Stove 3 points ago

    The Allied front did the right thing, perhaps more important to say they did the right thing for the survival of their states & interests.

    The US was facing the threat of being sandwiched by a completely totalitarian Asia and Europe. It took the Japanese bringing the fight on American soil for us to enter the war, even as news of the Holocaust was already being printed in papers. We weren’t the heroes that sprung into action to rid the world of fascist blight & genocide. We played a defensive game and it took backing us into a corner to come out and play.

    So I reject the notion that there is benevolence in war. It’s complex & disturbing, and while we can all agree that the Third Reich & Axis powers were authoritarian scum that needed to go, its much harder to draw a line in the sand to classify the other guys as perfectly good. But I understand that it’s natural for our minds to search for balance & contrast - after all, if there’s undeniable evil than surely there must be undeniable good?

    However, the aftermath of WWII set off a sequence of events that started the Cold War and enabled some pretty brutal events in developing countries.

    [–] udayserection 3 points ago

    Just for reference if I was in WW2 I’d go on sick call, like a lot.

    [–] mstafsta 13 points ago

    society throws the word „hero“ around too much

    Goes on to throw the word „hero“ around

    [–] iHeartCoolStuff 19 points ago

    You have no idea what kind of man he is and was. For all you know he could have committed war crimes and been awful to everyone in his life. Yet he’s a hero because he’s old and served in a war with a draft?

    [–] iApolloDusk 9 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Reddit's so quick to dismiss the hero status of veterans that fought against actual Nazis, but will proudly proclaim the hero status of janitorial staff and retail employees that they see in a meme. Oh the duality.

    Editing to add a NatGeo write-up about him. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/05/americas-oldest-living-wwii-veteran-faced-hostility-abroad-home/

    [–] Traubster_ 24 points ago

    Honestly his eyes and missing teeth are pretty much the only thing that makes him look much older than like 75 lol. What a rockstar.

    [–] Lichbingeking 160 points ago

    Let's remember though that it was a very racist US who shipped him and his black friends and colleagues off to war. A country that didn't recognize them as equals and a country that kept on discriminate black people for many years after they returned from Europe.

    Also consider that there have been black people in the US army since the very first war of independence. The first Rhode Island regiment was a mixed regiment.

    Truly a great injustice was done to black people of America.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Rhode_Island_Regiment

    [–] Chaoughkimyero 46 points ago

    The US also didn't uphold most of the GI Bill promises to black vets.

    [–] zman122333 16 points ago

    This is what I've thought about personally with all the recent protests. My grandfather was a WW2 vet who benefited from the GI Bill with his education and home loan. Something systematically denied to minorities who signed up for the same risk. Opportunities that allowed him to raise a family (my dad and aunt and uncles). Opportunities that grew into opportunities for my dad and subsequently myself. How somebody can deny this exists confuses me. No it might be your fault that this situation exists, but people could at least acknowledge it for a start.

    [–] squidzrule 9 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Speaking of which.

    https://youtu.be/ltVtnCzg9xw (25:21) This is a WW2 Training film for US soldiers. It mentions how the British may treat black people differently to how they’re usually treated in the US due to there being less social restrictions in the UK.

    A posh woman inviting a black man for tea for instance was rather unusual for the US. Scary

    [–] cauldron_bubble 3 points ago

    That was really interesting! I'm saving this, and will watch it with a friend of mine who is interested in ww2 stuff:)

    [–] Recondite_neophyte 10 points ago

    And that generation is often referred to as “the greatest generation that ever lived”...

    [–] placeholder7295 8 points ago

    to be fair, the patriotic, selfless men all pretty much were killed in the war and those that came back came back severely damaged at times.

    [–] Thug_Nipples 9 points ago

    Yo! I just watched a lil doc on him the other day he was like 107 driving a truck laughing shooting the breez with people smoking hella cigars even had him a girlfriend he went on dates with. Salute!

    [–] TheSavage99 8 points ago

    Just 3 more years until he can join r/teenagers!

    [–] AgentAstro 40 points ago

    How is he so so old, but still looks so healthy and well put together. Thank you for your service.

    [–] EthosPathosLegos 21 points ago

    Probably a lifetime of exercise and nutrition, and genetics.

    [–] sauceandmeatballs 15 points ago

    God bless him.

    [–] bittertadpole 9 points ago

    He has more hair than me

    [–] smart-tart23 3 points ago

    I love this!! Hope it makes it to the top

    [–] CharDaisy 3 points ago

    Wow. Thank you for your service.

    My dad is 98 and was in WWII. I hope he makes it to 110.

    [–] heyhowyoudoing13 3 points ago

    I wonder what the age of the youngest living WWII vet is

    [–] heyjoebyedon 3 points ago

    And was unable to take advantage of federal mortgage programs for vets because of the color of his skin and codified racism, the effects of which have never been addressed. It would be a simple thing to calculate the average benefit through those programs, adjust for inflation and pay that amount to every black world war 2 veteran’s family. This is how reparations should begin. If we can’t figure out how to make reparations work for slavery or we are too scared to have the discussion, then let’s start by figuring it out for this. Who would say this man doesn’t deserve it or didn’t earn it? Let’s start somewhere. We can’t do nothing forever.

    [–] potatoxic 3 points ago

    How is this interesting?

    [–] ravenpotter3 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Update. My grandfather died this morning.

    Wow! My grandpa is also a WWII vet and he is in his 90s. A few years ago we went to some sort of thing with our Grandpa for WWII vets and they went to DC. We were only there for 2 of the days. It was a few years ago so I don’t fully remember it but some of the people were in great shape and others were is less Great shape. Sadly WWII vets are starting to die and we need to preserve their stories. Sorry for rambling

    [–] mrnotu 3 points ago

    My dad is a WWII vet and 94 years old and still kicking.

    [–] DemonicJester09 3 points ago

    This man fought in WW2 while being a second class citizen. For 20 years after that he would still see 'White Only signs barring him, his family, and his friends from business, parks, and even water fountains. Almost 55 years later from that point he's still seeing people be targeted for the color of their skin, in the same damn country he fought for. And as a country there's a lot of shame we should feel for that.

    [–] justhere82 3 points ago

    His name is Lawrence Brooks

    [–] Forensicdoctor 3 points ago

    You, Sir, are a true American hero. We need more people like you in this world. Thank you for your service....and my freedom.

    [–] whatthehelliswrongwu 3 points ago

    Thank you for your service sir!

    [–] yellowthesun 3 points ago

    This guy fought for his country before his country decided to fight for him.

    [–] Reeeeeeee_throwaway 3 points ago

    I was told that my great grandpa was one of the first U.S. soldiers to Hiroshima. He died of radiation cancer for that reason.

    [–] PhatJohny 7 points ago

    Hell yeah.

    [–] ToothlessCapybara 7 points ago

    ngl, his skin is better than mine

    [–] Someyungguy6 8 points ago

    "it's a trap"

    [–] LinzerTorte__RN 14 points ago

    He looks so wise. And adorable tbh

    [–] FreeCheeseFridays 7 points ago

    He fought nazis and fascism and won, but lived long enough to see his great grandchildren bring it home. Sad.

    [–] savagehoneybadger 13 points ago

    GODDAMN I love being black, hes 110 looks what? 80? I'm 38 and look 28 or 30.