VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A World War II veteran will travel to Australia to reunite with his wartime girlfriend after more than 70 years apart.
Norwood Thomas, 93, of Virginia Beach will travel to Adelaide, Australia, next month to reunite with 88-year-old Joyce Morris, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Thomas told Morris that he would love to see her again in person when the two recently spoke via Skype. During their two-hour video reunion, the two recalled their time together when they met in England, a few months before he parachuted into Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division.
After the war had ended, the two went their separate ways. Morris has since lost much or her vision and currently resides in Australia. Thomas has also health problems and lives on a fixed income in Virginia Beach.
After their story went public two months ago, more than 300 people made donations online to help the two rekindle their romance. Others mailed checks directly to Thomas' house. About $7,500 has been donated thus far, according to the newspaper, which also reports that Air New Zealand has made arrangements to send Thomas and his caretaker son, Steve, to Australia free of charge.
Thomas said he was stunned by the generosity.
"I'm numb," he said. "I have no idea what my emotions are going to be once we meet face to face."
Thomas and Morris are expected to spend Valentine's Day together.
Information from: The Virginian-Pilot