Two former armed forces veterans celebrated 25 years together this past week.
100-year-old John Banvard and 72-year-old Gerard ‘Jerry’ Nadeau met in a veterans home and were married in 2013, according to PinkNews. The California couple started their relationship in the closet, but came out after they felt comfortable.
“When we met, we were sort of in the closet, and I never had a real relationship,” Nadeau said to NPR StoryCorps. “Now we’ve been together almost 25 years.”
Banvard served in World War II while Nadeau served in the Vietnam War, according to StoryCorps. The pair moved into the veterans home the currently live in during 2010 and were later married there.
“[Later] I was with you in the cafeteria and somebody came up, and they were with their family,” Nadeau said. “And they said, ‘Oh, this is Gerard Nadeau, and this is his husband, John.’ I’d never heard that before.”
Banvard and Nadeau said that their shared love is a huge part of each other's lives, according to StoryCorps. The pair had hot dogs served at their wedding in what they called a “simple” celebration.
"We'd gotten married at the veterans home, and we said, 'If you came to see the bride, you're out of luck,'” Nadeau said.