Seeing the pride and confidence Joan developed on her job, Fournier found special satisfaction in counseling women of their own generation, who often came in with a severe lack of confidence. "I always enjoyed seeing it when they saw themselves in a different light." He and Joan had been married sixty-three years when she died two years ago, and he sometimes tears up when talking about her. His children, several of whom live nearby, and grandchildren provide him both comfort and distraction.
Despite his grief, Fournier is still thinking ahead. He stopped counseling when Joan was ill, but now plans to return, part-time. He's also taking baking classes at Zingerman's, meets weekly with a memoir-writing group, and is seriously considering taking a solo long-distance drive across the country. Told that sounds like a young man's dream, he replies, "I gave up my teenage years to the war."
Fournier takes pride in the Presidential Unit Citation his battalion received for "outstanding service" during the invasion of France. But he does not belong to any veterans' organization, and plans no special activities for the D-Day anniversary other than personal reflection.
Perhaps Fournier's most significant memorial came more than twenty years ago, when he revisited Normandy with Joan. After visiting the graveyard where the American soldiers whose bodies he gathered are buried, he walked the beach where they landed in 1944. This time, he cried.