Memories of a WWII American veteran and the way he passes on to his children

Mr. Isy Brooks was awarded the French Legion of Honor two days before the celebration of his 100th birthday.
Of the Great War, he remembers his mother reading him the news every day. Almost 20 years later, when he was drafted, he thought of General Lafayette who came to help his own country to win the war.
He says that one of the most vivid memory about WWII was German soldiers starving and surrending. Memories that he passes on to his children with letters and newspapers...

Mr. Isy Brooks was awarded the French Legion of Honor two days before the celebration of his 100th birthday.
Of the Great War, he remembers his mother reading him the news every day. Almost 20 years later, when he was drafted, he thought of General Lafayette who came to help his own country to win the war.
He says that one of the most vivid memory about WWII was German soldiers starving and surrending. Memories that he passes on to his children with letters and newspapers...

- e-Toile : Dear Mr. Isy Brooks, you were bestowed the French Legion of Honor on August 21, 2012.
Few days later, you celebrated your 100th year. You did your first steps as a young boy when the Great War was declared and blow your 6th candle at the end of this first global conflict. As an American kid, what do you remember of this period and what did you learn about it?

Mr. Isy Brooks: I don’t remember a lot from this time.
My family, we’re from Georgia and I had older brothers that weren’t drafted because we were farmers.
We didn’t know anyone drafted into this war except for a neighbor in our community who left.
I remember he showed us how to tie those heavy combat boots he had to wear.
Aside from this, I remember our mother reading to us every day about what was happening.

- e-Toile : When WWII was declared, did you think of this first conflict?

Mr. Isy Brooks: When the Second World War was declared, I was the youngest of my brothers and they were all too old to be drafted.
I had an uncle who was Lieutenant, but I did not think much about the First World War when this happened.

e-Toile : What was your opinion about France before landing in France? Did you have any idea of what was going on in France?

Mr. Isy Brooks: When I heard what was happening in France, I just figured that we owed France a debt, and that it was our duty to help. When we were losing our War of Independence, France sent General Lafayette immediately to help us win the war, so I figured we were just paying back our debt.

- e-toile: What are your most notable memories of France?

Mr. Isy Brooks: One of our first assignments, we were assigned to guard this pocket of German soldiers, and I remember one of them came up with a big white sheet tied to the end of a post to let us know he was surrendering.

We took him back to headquarters and he told us they were starving, they had just been eating potatoes put these had run out.
Their captain, his name escapes me… when you’re 100 years old you forget these sorts of things, asked to be given some food supplies. They had surrendered.

- e-Toile: What would you like to say today to the children about those conflicts?

Mr. Isy Brooks: In our family, we try to keep the memories and the stories of my time there alive.

I have three children and the youngest was about a year old when I was drafted.
They were very young children during this time.

I wrote to my wife everyday and my young daughter read some of the letters and always asked lots of questions but we were not allowed to disclose our location in our letters to our family. We were able to send these about once a month. Today, my daughter still has all of the newspapers with headlines about the war that my wife had kept all those years.

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Mr. Isy Brooks was awarded the French Legion of Honor on August 21st, 2012 in Boynton Beach, FL along with fourteen of his fellowmen.


Article published Sept. 5, 2012.

Dernière modification : 06/09/2012

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