Veterans’ love story sparks interest on Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air, and two Chula Vista residents recently showcased that sentiment to a national audience thanks to a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition podcast late last week.

John and Jerry

Jerry Nadeau, 72, (left) and his husband, John Banvard, 100, stand outside the California Veterans Home in Chula Vista.

The Daily Mail, Brides.com, LGBTQ Nation and Story Corps each shared the story of John Banvard, 100 and Gerard “Jerry” Nadeau, 72, who have been together nearly 25 years.

The couple married at our veterans home in 2013, roughly 20 years after they first met.

“When we met, we were sort of in the closet, and I’d never had a real relationship. Now, we’ve been together almost 25 years,” Jerry told John during the StoryCorps interview.

“What would it have been like if you didn’t meet me?” Jerry asked John.

“I would have continued being lonely,” John said. “I’d been absolutely lost.”

Both are veterans, having served in World War II (John) and Vietnam (Jerry), and when they got married five years ago, the couple received a warm reception from staff and other residents.

“We’d gotten married at the veterans home, and we said, ‘If you came to see the bride, you’re out of luck,'” Jerry said on the podcast.

John and Jerry 5

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