The French had sympathy for the American Revolution. One Frenchman in particular showed his support by joining the Revolution. His real name was Marie Joseph Paul Yves Dilbert du Motier, but he became known in America as the Marquis de Lafayette.
A nobleman, Lafayette bought a ship and sailed from France in 1777 to America where he offered his services to General George Washington. He was given the rank of a major general and joined Washington's military staff. (This he did without pay.)
An above average soldier, Lafayette brought tactics to the War that helped secure American victory. He returned home with honor and participated in the French Revolution.