Westlake couple got married over the phone after WWII - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Westlake couple got married over the phone after WWII

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WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

Guy Larson joined the U.S. Army in the summer of 1944, and a few months after D-Day, he found himself in Europe. He was a tech sergeant in the 6th Calvary Mechanized Unit and was one of the first soldiers to witness German atrocities in worker concentration camps.

"Half a dozen railroad flat cars lined up there, and my God, they had bodies stacked high," said Guy. "We estimated there had to be over a thousand bodies laying there. Terrible. You can imagine what a mess that was."

Larson had proposed to his future wife Arlene on a visit to the U.S. mainland, but they hadn't married. Back overseas, he decided he couldn't wait. So he asked an Army chaplain if it could be done over the phone.

"I went and said something to the chaplain about it, and he said, 'Well I've never heard of it before, but it sounds all right to me. If you dumb enough to do it, do it!'"

To the Larson's knowledge, this had never been done before, so they asked the local newspaper to take a picture.

"The actual phone call when it came in, you could hear the 'click, click, click" of the party lines," said Arlene. "It wasn't all that easy to understand."

The Larsons say they gained notoriety from saying their vows with the transatlantic connection.

"It made national news," said Guy. "We were the first ones. They never did that. We got phone calls from all over the states. The only thing is we had to do it separately, because of two different chaplains. Although I didn't have a chaplain, she had a chaplain. That made it legal, I guess. We never really understood whether we were legal or not."

Something must have worked, though. The Larsons have been married 68 years.

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