On Friday, May 8th, thousands of veterans gathered at the National WWII Memorial in honor of Victory-Europe Day.
It was a day full of powerful stories.
Just as we were leaving, we met Tommy. Tommy is a Korean War veteran who traveled all the way from rural Trinity, Texas to be here today.
And he brought the love of his life, Marie.
Tommy and Marie, 60 years ago:
Their love story: Tommy, a lifelong Texan, joined the Navy at the age of 16. Tommy was stationed in the Philippines during the Korean War and security and fire support for heavy naval operations. It was there, in 1955, that he met Marie. A year later they were married in Manila, capitol of the Philippines.
The realities of falling in love during wartime.
Tommy and Marie were happy in the Philippines. The were married, had a home and started a family. Their first son was named Ben. However, falling in love during wartime, overseas is hard. The Navy needed Tommy on the homefront and he received orders to report to a Naval base in Oakland, CA only a year after his marriage. Tommy was able to bring their son with him but Marie had to wait. The couple waited months, wondering if the U.S. Government would allow them to start their life together in America.
But after a wait that lasted over half-a-year, the couple was reunited! Tommy was now able to show Marie his home, the State of Texas.
Tommy was honorably discharged from his Naval commission and began work at Houston Natural Gas. Marie got a job making cowboy hats. They both retired in 1994.
Tommy and Marie now have two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. They tell IJReview that they’re more in love today than they ever have been.
After retiring, Tommy and Marie moved to a rural acreage outside of Trinity, Texas. They live without internet or cell phones and wish to spend their final years simply and happily together.