96-year-old World War II veteran shares his story of finding love again

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- World War II veteran Sam Reiner, 96, is an American hero.

He was deployed to the Pacific theater while in the Marines from 1943 to 1945.

"I was shot twice and a hand grenade the third time," Reiner recalled in an interview with ABC7. "War is terrible. God was with me and God will always be with me. I speak to him every morning when my eyes open up: 'Thank you for another day.'"

Reiner was married for 61 years, but after his wife passed away, he couldn't bear to be alone. That's when the Tujunga man met Donna Thanstrom.

Donna says after her first husband passed away, she wasn't looking for love. But, Sam was just too much of a charmer. The two have been married for seven years and spent Valentine's Day at the Council District 7 senior ball in Sylmar.

"I'm glad to share with people because I love people. That's number one. You can't be by yourself," said Reiner.

"It's an honor to me to be his spouse," said Thanstrom. "I feel like I'm living with a living legend. My motto in life is in giving we receive. I am basically his full-time caregiver. It is with honor. He almost gave the ultimate sacrifice, his life and he would do it again. He loves his country and I love him."

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said: "It's just indicative of how life doesn't end. It continues. You gotta keep enjoying every moment you're given. Every breath you take and they're emblematic of that. I just love spending time with them. Each time I see them it's always very special."
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