A 98-year-old WWII veteran kept a photo of his wartime sweetheart for 75 years, hoping to one day see her again. As years passed, he realized his long-lost lover was likely gone, so he decided to look for her family instead. However, he found more than he had ever hoped.
Kara Troy Robbins, better known as “KT,” was based with the U.S. Army in France during World War II in 1944. There, the 24-year-old soldier met and fell in love with a young woman. The French bombshell who caught KT’s eye and eventually stole his heart was named Jeannine Pierson, and the 18-year-old local gal was quite the looker.
Despite a language barrier, the two fell madly in love and had a whirlwind romance until the young lovers were sadly separated. In a hurried ordeal, KT was sent to the Eastern Front to fight. He survived, but he eventually lost contact with Jeannine. After the war, he moved back to the United States.
Unbeknownst to each other, both KT and Jeannine longed to reconnect with one another. In fact, when the war ended, Jeannine even learned English, hoping KT would return to France. But, he never did. Instead, he went on to marry another woman in America, and Jeannine eventually moved on too, marrying another man in France.
Although KT married someone else, he never forgot about the French girl he had met overseas. He even kept a picture of her throughout the years. He kept that old black-and-white photo of Jeannine safely tucked away — for three-quarters of a century — hoping to one day see her in person again.
After 75 years, KT finally had the opportunity to return to France to celebrate the anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. His wife had passed away, and his thoughts immediately turned to his long-lost first love as he planned to return to where they had met so long ago.
KT knew 75 years is a very long time. Being 98 years old and lucky to still be alive himself, KT assumed Jeannine had long since passed. “For sure, I won’t ever get to see her,” he said. “She’s probably gone now.” He’d soon learn how wrong he was when he decided he’d still like to find Jeannine’s family and speak with them.
Never imagining Jeannine could still be alive, KT asked a group of French journalists if they would be willing to try to help him connect with her family. One of those journalists gave him so much more than he had ever imagined or hoped, though. “We’re going to meet her,” the journalist told KT, surprising him on the plane as he traveled to France. “She’s alive, and she’s waiting for you.”
Those words filled the 98-year-old WWII veteran with so much emotion that he could hardly speak. Soon after, KT’s eyes met Jeannine’s for the first time in nearly 8 decades, and the emotional reunion was caught on camera. The long-lost lovers, both since widowed, wasted no time catching up. It was like no time had ever passed at all as they embraced and showered each other in kisses during a tear-jerking reunion 75 years in the waiting.
“When he left in the truck, I cried, of course, I was very sad,” Jeannie Pierson recalled, describing how heartbroken she was when Kara Troy Robbins was transferred to the Eastern Front. “I wish after the war he hadn’t returned to America,” she admitted. “I’ve always thought of him, thinking maybe he’ll come.” And, he did — 75 years later.
KT and Jeannine were able to spend hours together before he once again had to leave his first love behind. They both cried as they parted ways once again. “Jeannine, I love you, girl,” KT told his French sweetheart as he got in the car to leave. But, he promised they would meet again — and this time, he wouldn’t wait 75 years to return to her.