The Greatest Generation told some of the most romantic war-time love stories.
An Airman paints his girl’s figure onto the nose of his warplane and she wears his bomber jacket around town, whistling their song from the night they met at a USO dance.
Almost three-quarters of a century later, romantic stories of love and separation in a time of war have begun to re-emerge.
The plot remains the largely same: boy meets girl, boy (or girl) goes off to war, they write to each other, and when (s)he gets home, they get married.
It was a Sunday afternoon when Lindsay Banks was working the send-off shift at the Dallas / Ft. Worth USO, saying goodbye to troops as they returned to combat after a period of R&R (Rest and Recuperation).
Originally from Iowa, she moved to Dallas after college and began volunteering at the local USO to meet new people and support her troops. She met her best friend there, and her roommate. She never expected to meet the man of her dreams.
But then it happened.
A single Airman stood apart from the crowd. Lindsay was shy, and it would be against USO protocol to approach him. Luckily, he struck up a conversation with her and they spoke for almost an hour.
When it was time for him to board, they exchanged email addresses, said their goodbyes, and she reluctantly watched him go.
Four months and dozens of emails later, her Airman was finally coming home. They had become friends while he was gone. Now, they would meet again in the same airport—in the same terminal.
“I was shaking,” she recalled. “I REALLY liked him. But did he like me just as much?”
The airport seemed like Grand Central Station that day as she scanned the crowd for her man in uniform. Then, she realized he was right behind her. When she turned around, their eyes locked.
They shared their first kiss that day, but they both realized it wouldn’t be their last.
The Killoughs tied the knot a year later and remain happily married today.
Happy Valentine’s Day Richard and Lindsay Killough! - Joseph Andrew Lee, USO Staff Writer
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and LOVE, please share your story of how USO Centers overseas have helped your loved ones stay connected during their deployments.