Donna Brooks may not be a veteran herself but she knows the life.
Her husband, Grant, was an Air Force veteran and Donna has spent the last 40-plus years contributing to the military life through her service as a member of the VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary.
On Tuesday, Brooks was honored for 45 years with the organization with a ceremony at the R.D. Nelson Memorial VFW Post 4746 with a 45-year memorial pin as well as a lifetime post membership, purchased by the ladies’ auxiliary.
“Thank you for all of your hard work and, on behalf of the VFW Post 4746, we thank you very much,” VFW commander Vic Graham said.
Weatherford mayor Dennis Hooks, as well as District 21 ladies’ auxiliary president Karen Burks, were also on hand to honor Brooks.
“We’re very proud,” Burks said. “That’s 45 years of dedication and loyalty.
“You’ve done wonderful for us and we appreciate everything you’ve done.”
Since joining the VFW almost a half century ago, Brooks has been a fixture at meetings and events hosted by the post.
“I’ve held almost every position there is, all here in Weatherford,” she said. “It’s been a long 45 years but a good 45 years. If this is what it’s like for 45 years, what do we do at 50?”
Born in Illinois, Brooks came to Texas as a small child, graduating high school in Dallas before making her way to Parker County.
Husband Grant, who passed away in January of 2011, was also a committed member of the post.
Grant Brooks, who grew up in Clarksville, joined the Air Force right after high school in 1948. He was a member of the air police which supported the 185th Fighter Wing squadron station in Korea and Japan.
He was employed with the Otis Elevator Company before working for the Defense Nuclear Agency at Kirkland Air Force base in Albuquerque, N.M.
“He and his two brothers, all three of them were in the Air Force,” Donna Brooks said. “The Weatherford VFW post was the only post he belonged to.”
Grant Brooks was also an officer at the post, including post commander, and was a member of MOCA, where he served as District 6 commander.
Since the loss of her husband, Brooks has immersed herself in VFW festivities and other hobbies to keep her busy.
“The holidays are a difficult time for me to get through, but I try to cope with it,” she said.
On top of her ladies’ auxiliary duties, Brooks also works at the computer lab at Tison Middle School, a job she says is very rewarding.
“The kids are what keep me going,” she said.