2 Vets Celebrate Love: 'If You Came To See The Bride, You're Out Of Luck' When Jerry Nadeau, 72, a Vietnam vet, met his husband, John Banvard, 100, a World War II vet, neither had been openly gay. Together now for almost 25 years, each says he feels completed by the other.
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2 Vets Celebrate Love: 'If You Came To See The Bride, You're Out Of Luck'

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2 Vets Celebrate Love: 'If You Came To See The Bride, You're Out Of Luck'

2 Vets Celebrate Love: 'If You Came To See The Bride, You're Out Of Luck'

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today, an early Valentine's Day card from StoryCorps. This is a conversation between two senior citizens. One is 100 years old, the other a sprightly 72. Both are veterans. One served in World War II, the other Vietnam. And together they live in a veterans home in Chula Vista, Calif. They sat down for StoryCorps.

JERRY NADEAU: So I start with my name and all that stuff? OK. We'll see how it works. Hello. My name is Jerry Nadeau. I'm with John Banvard.

JOHN BANVARD: And I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

NADEAU: No, no, no, no. You got to say your name and everything. Hello, my name is...

BANVARD: Hello. My name is John Banvard. I am 100 years of age.

NADEAU: When I first met you, John, you were 75 years old. What would it have been like if you didn't meet me?

BANVARD: I would have continued being lonely. I'd been absolutely lost.

NADEAU: When we met, we were sort of in the closet.

BANVARD: Yeah.

NADEAU: And I never had a real relationship. Now we've been together almost 25 years. And when we moved into the veterans home, we moved in together. And a lot of people were wondering, I wonder what their relationship is.

BANVARD: Yes.

NADEAU: Well, when we got married, they knew what our relationship was.

(LAUGHTER)

BANVARD: I was expecting we'd be ridiculed, and there was very little of that.

NADEAU: We'd gotten married at the veterans home. And we said, if you came to see the bride, you're out of luck. Do you remember that?

(LAUGHTER)

BANVARD: Yes, of course.

NADEAU: It was very informal.

BANVARD: It was done simply, yes.

NADEAU: We served hot dogs.

BANVARD: Which is hardly wedding food.

NADEAU: Remember, John, I was with you in the cafeteria and somebody came up, and they were with their family. And they said, oh, this is Gerard Nadeau, and this is his husband, John. I'd never heard that before.

BANVARD: Yeah, that was very nice.

NADEAU: You've made my life complete.

BANVARD: I could say the same thing to you. I think we're probably as happy together as any two people you're likely to meet.

(SOUNDBITE OF NICK JAINA'S "MISSISSIPPI TURN-AROUND")

GREENE: Wow. Thank you guys. You have made our day a lot better. That's 100-year-old John Banvard with his husband, 72-year-old Jerry Nadeau at StoryCorps in La Mesa, Calif. They were married in 2013. Their conversation will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. And you can hear more love stories on the StoryCorps Valentine's Day podcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF NICK JAINA'S "MISSISSIPPI TURN-AROUND")

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