At 99 years old, this veteran manages to find his first love: "I kept her photo for 78 years"
February 16, 2023
There are people who enter our lives for just a short time, but never leave our minds and hearts. That's what happened to Reginald "Reg" Pye, a 99-year-old WWII veteran who for nearly 80 years, kept a photograph of the first woman he fell in love with in his wallet.
Reg was on a mission near the Normandy beaches and remembers it as if it were yesterday. Here, he met Huguette, a 14-year-old French girl with whom he only exchanged a few words and... a jam sandwich. Reg had landed at Sword Beach during the Allied invasion of continental Europe, when he stopped for a break.
"I had a tin of sardines and some bread with margarine and jam. I looked up and saw a girl standing in front of me. I hadn't seen her coming. She was wearing a white dress which was a bit shabby . She was very pretty. I offered her the sardines, but she refused them, but did accept some bread and jam," Reg recalled.
"Soon afterwards, she ran to the village square and into a church. That was the last time I saw her," added the veteran. Huguette left a photo of herself in Reg's van as a thank you for sharing his jam sandwich with her: "I kept it to this day, looking at it every time I lost hope in humanity," Reg said.
Over the decades, Reg tried several times to track Huguette down, but to no avail. Finally, and thanks to help from the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans organization, the two have be able to reunite. Reg showed up with a jam sandwich and a tin of sardines. Huguette - now a mother of three - accepted the sandwich and again declined the can of sardines with a big smile. In addition to the sandwich, Reg showed her the photo she gave him: "I've kept it for 78 years," he said.
Huguette said she was "extremely moved" that Reg had kept her photo. The two exchanged a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek, after which Huguette joked that they should now get married.
What a wonderful story, don't you think?