Celebrities

Ann Curry Tells the Story of Her Dad Duping the U.S. Navy to Be Able to Marry Her Dying Mom During World War II

by Rose Marie Walano 3:00 AM, January 29, 2018

Aired January 29, 2018

Well, this one has us reaching for the tissue box!

Ann Curry stopped by our kitchen table to give us the scoop on her new, heartstring-tugging PBS series, "We'll Meet Again with Ann Curry," which is all about reuniting people with the person they believe changed their lives — no matter how long it had been.

MORE: Valentine's Day Dates for Everyone (even the haters)

And that's when she shared one of the biggest inspirations behind the series: her parents, who met at just 18 years old when her father, Bob, an American soldier, was stationed overseas in Japan.

"They met, they fell in love, they were 18 years old, he asked her whether she would marry him, she said yes, but he couldn't get permission from the U.S. Navy," says Ann. "In fact, they were so concerned, because they were so young, that they said, 'We're sending you out.'"

And they sent him to Morocco — for two years. But Bob never forgot Ann's mom, Hiroe, and after his tour, he got permission to go back to Japan — only to find her dying from tuberculosis.

MORE: Al Roker and Deborah Roberts Reveal Their No. 1 Tip For a Successful Marriage

As Ann explained, at this point in time, while he could legally marry a Japanese woman, he could not marry a sick Japanese woman, which is why he asked Hiroe's sister to take the X-ray, so he could show the U.S. Navy a healthy X-ray, marry her and bring her home.

Hiroe, of course, recovered and had five children with Bob, including Ann.

(Don't worry, we just have something in our eyes, too!)

Watch Ann tell the whole emotional story — and share more about "We'll Meet Again" — in the video above!