When K.T. (Kara Troy) Robbins was serving his country during World War II, he was stationed in Europe in 1944. He was one of the men who landed in Normandy on D-Day, the turning point of the eventual defeat of Hitler and his Nazi forces.
While in France, Robbins and his fellow soldiers were stationed in Briey, in eastern France, where he met Jeannine Ganaye, an 18-year-old French woman who lived in a nearby town. The two fell in love only to be separated when Robbins, 24 at that time, got stationed at the Eastern front. He went home to the States and did not make it back to France to look for Jeannine. He married an American but still kept a photo of his French love.
Fast forward to 2019, 99-year-old war veteran Robbins participated in the 75th Anniversary of D-Day commemorations in France. He was carrying the photo of Jeannine, which had he kept all those years. It caught the attention of a French television station who featured him in a documentary. When the journalists heard the old man’s story, they decided to track the girl down. They discovered that Jeannine was still alive and goes by the name Jeannine Pierson.
The documentary team invited Robbins to go to Normandy with them, to which the old man replied that he’d be happy to meet Jeannine’s family. He thought that the girl he fell in love with was already dead, only to find himself face to face with the now 92-year-old Jeannine. “I always thought you’d come back,” she said. The two had a tearful and deeply moving reunion.
They spent a few hours updating each other on what happened in their lives over the past 75 years—they both married someone else, were both widowed, and neither had forgotten each other despite the seven and a half decades they were apart. When they were young, Robbins only spoke English while Jeannine only spoke French. But because she knew that he would come back for her, she learned some basic English. “I always loved you. You never got out of my heart.” Jeannine replied in French, “He says he loves me. I understood that much.”
Watch their reunion below: