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Video: Minnesota man reunites with first love after 22 years

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Four hours chatting on a back porch in Oregon was all Steve McCoyne and Nancy Hamre needed to fall in love. It was 1989, and the two were at a party – McCoyne 19, ready for a six-month deployment with the Marines; Hamre a 17-year-old, nearing the end of high school, Good Morning America (GMA) reports.

The falling in love part was instant. Their journey back together, as GMA explains, was anything but.

McCoyne, who now lives in Park Rapids, Minnesota, Detroit Lakes Online reports, left for his tour of duty, and he and Hamre exchanged more then 200 letters during the half year he was away. But when he returned, the distance proved too much. He was on the East Coast, she was still back in high school out west.

The distance was "really hard," Hamre told GMA, so she had to write McCoyne a break-up letter, "which was awful."

After that, the two moved on. Hamre got engaged and had a child. McCoyne got married. They didn't see each other for 22 years. But when they got a chance to reconnect online, they began talking again. First on MySpace, they explained to GMA, then on Facebook.

Even through early 2014, Hamre thought McCoyne was in a relationship based on his Facebook profile. But on Valentine's Day, he sent her a poem – and since then, the two have logged hundreds of hours on the phone together and swapped thousands of texts, McCoyne said on the show.

They planned to meet up this fall. But GMA teamed with Jennifer Lopez (whose new single is called "First Love") to reunite the two last week in New York. Hamre didn't know she was meeting McCoyne or Lopez. When the singer walked in, she nearly collapsed. When McCoyne came in a few minutes later, she could barely contain herself.

It was an "out of body experience," she said.

The two went off to a romantic dinner, and the next day appeared on the show – quite giggly and holding hands – to talk about their journey.

"It's amazing, absolutely amazing," Hamre told the GMA hosts.

Said McCoyne: "I always thought we had a remarkable story, but what a way to really put an exclamation point on it."

McCoyne tells Detroit Lakes Online Hamre is visiting Minnesota in September. The two also have plans to go on a cruise and spend more time together in the coming months, they told GMA.

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