KT Robbins was a 24-year-old soldier in the U.S. Army when he first laid eyes on Jeannine Ganaye, a beautiful 18-year-old French girl. It was in the northeastern French town of Briey. And the year was 1944. The two of them fell in love, but two months later, KT had to quickly leave and head with the others to the Eastern Front. He told Jeannine that he would try to come back for her, and she cried when he left. But he never returned. At least, not then.
After the war, KT returned to America. And by then, Jeannine was taking classes to learn how to speak English, always hoping that KT would be back. But KT got a job at a bakery, and it was there that he met Lillian. The two fell in love and got married. And that marriage lasted for 70 years, when Lillian passed away in 2015 at the age of 92.
Jeannine had long ago given up on KT returning, she, too, falling in love again and marrying a man in 1949. She had five children with him. He too had died some years ago. But through all those years, all those years in a happy marriage, KT still carried a picture of the wonderful girl he met so long ago in France.
KT returned to France on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. And he showed the photo of his long-ago love to journalists who asked him many questions about World War II. But they were particularly interested in KT’s love of so long ago. KT was now 97 himself and presumed that Jeannine had died many years ago, but, of course, he had no way of knowing.
Those journalists were not about to let that go until they found out for themselves. So, incredibly, they tracked her down. She was now 92 years old and living in a retirement home less than 30 miles from where she and KT first met. The journalists arranged for a meeting between the two, telling KT that “She’s alive, and she’s waiting for you.” Well, you didn’t exactly have to bend KT’s arm to get him to that meeting with Jeannine. He was shocked and thrilled.
When they reunited, their eyes gazed at each other with such adoration. KT told her that he had always loved her, and that she was never out of his heart.” KT then showed her the photo he carried of her all these years, and Jeannine was quite surprised at that. They then spent a few hours together reminiscing before KT had to leave to attend anniversary celebrations in Normandy.
While in the car, KT kissed Jeannine several times, and he promised he would be back to see her again very soon. And Jeannine believes that, this time, he certainly will.