Local WWII and Korea Veteran turns 99

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NEW ORLEANS— The guy on the hot red scooter is none other than Mr. Lawrence Winnier and if you live in Gentilly, you’ve probably seen him driving over the Seabrook bridge to make groceries.

He’s always made a way for himself and his family, like when he entered the military in 1941.

Winnier says, “I went to join the Army first and the guy asked at the Army said can you play a musical instrument, I said no and he said we have no need for you. You’ve got Uncle Sam outside saying ‘we need you!’ So I went down to see if I could join the Navy and they said OK, but you have to understand you’ll be a mess attendant.”

Lawrence Winnier (Winnier family photo)

Winnier took that opportunity spent the next 5 years fighting World War II and after that he spent a year in Korea. It was a time of segregation in our armed forces, but Winnier saw this as an opportunity to better his life.

Winnier recalled, “Unless you had a trade, there was 2 things you could do. You could deliver on a bicycle or you could be a janitor that’s it, and I just wanted to get away from that.”

Upon returning, Winnier spent a few years as a baker, worked at an ice cream company, and landed with the postal service, retiring after 36 years.

“They forced me to retire, I wasn’t ready. I like working,” said Winnier.

And he continues to work, to this day, writing in a newsletter and working on his biography. He’s a great granddad who’s taking his 99th birthday in stride.

According to Winnier,”My aunt died at 105 and I’m trying to better her record…(laughs).”

Lawrence Winnier’s family is having a drive by celebration of his birthday tomorrow.

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