The Touching Story of Military Men Who Fell in Love 25 Years Ago and Got Married at a Veteran’s Home

In a touching love story that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, StoryCorps interviewed John Banvard and Jerry Nadeau, both of whom served during wartime. Banvard, who is 100 years old, served in World War II while Nadeau who is 72, served in Vietnam. The two men met 25 years ago, fell in love and recently got married at a veteran’s hall where they served hot dogs. Now retired, the couple lives at a veteran’s home where they’ve found acceptance from the other residents. At first, Banvard was concerned about the reaction people would have to them as a couple, but as it turned out he had nothing about which to worry.

I was expecting we’d be ridiculed, but there was very little of that. …When they met in 1993, they were “sort of in the closet.” John’s wife of over 35 years had died nearly a decade prior and he had never been in a serious relationship with a man. Neither had Jerry. At first, the two seemed worlds apart. John was a lover of art and theater, while Jerry was an outdoorsman. But they hit it off and soon became inseparable.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.