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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

One more trip to the battlefield to honor friends and to love

People from the Patriot Guard Motorcycle Club honored a group of World War II veterans Friday as they embark on a trip overseas.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – I am the least important person in this story. Solet’s get to the real people.

People from the Patriot Guard Motorcycle Club honored a group ofWorld War II veterans Friday as they embark on a trip overseas.

“Why do it?” asked guard member Pete Thebford. “Becausethey deserve the honor. Nothing but honor for these guys. They fought hard tofree the country.”

The old men of war are heading back to Belgium.

The Battle of the Bulge was 75-years ago. It was the last bigbattle fought by Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Hitler almost did it, almost beatAmerica, until he ran into the full fight these men had to offer.

So people came to Memphis International Airport to thank them.

At Memphis International Airport, folks shook hands and took photos with 5 WWII veterans this morning as they prepared…

Posted by Local Memphis on Friday, September 6, 2019

“The greatest generation,” said Tom Panagori. “Iwill tell them I appreciate the freedom they’ve given my family and me. Andbeing here is the right thing to do, so I’m excited to see them.”

This language might offend you. But this is what many soldierswere known as, in a pivotal battle during the Bulge. They were called “TheBattling Bastards of Bastogne.”

They were surrounded, supplies gone, but they refused tosurrender. The commanding officer responded to the Germans asking if they wouldgive up with a one-word answer.

“Nuts.”

Then one day, the weather cleared, the planes flew – pilot IrwinRumler did his job.

“When I was a young pilot,” he said, “… theycalled me Slim.”

Now the story of K.T. Robbins of Olive Branch, who has a fewreasons why he is returning to Belgium.

“It means everything in the world to me,” he told Local24 News Photographer Janice Bridges. “l get to go back over there and getto see my girlfriend again.”

When asked about how he is 98 years old and does he really have agirlfriend in France, Robbins replied, “Oh yeah. You didn’t know aboutthat? Wow!”

Wow is right. Robbins learned last July the girl he met 75 yearsago, in France, is alive and well. K.T. says she was his first girlfriend. Hername is Jeannine Ganaye. He is widowed, so is she.

This time, K.T. and Jeannine will spend four days together. Showingthat memories might fade, but love never does.