Four Marines who served in the Vietnam War finally managed to reunite after not being in the same room together since they went off to fight for us in 1966. At a reunion five decades in the making, the four managed to recreate a photo that they had taken 50 years prior while they were stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California.
The four Marines – Tom Hanks, Bob DeVenezia, Bob Falk and Dennis Puleo – were part of the same weapons platoon and quickly became friends. After finishing basic training, the four traveled to Cinnamon Beach in May of 1966 and that’s where they posed next to a surfboard for the picture.
The four were deployed two years later, and when they returned to the United States, they drifted apart. “We just broke up,” DeVenezia said. “Life is funny like that. I didn’t keep in touch with any of them.”
Five years ago, Falk happened to find an online memorial for a mutual friend of theirs, so he reached out to the rest of the group and floated the idea of a reunion. One day he was flipping through an old photo album and saw the picture they had taken on the beach and decided that recreating the photo would be a memorable reason to reunite.
After the veterans were finally able to travel to Palm Coast at the same time, they got down to business. They managed to borrow a surfboard from a stranger who had overheard their story, while Falk noted that he had to shop at six different stores to find a blue-and-white striped shirt like the one he wore in the original photo.
While it took a while for all four to match the exact poses they made five decades ago, the group was eventually pleased with their success: “Mission accomplished,” Falk said, while Hanks later referred to the experience as “one of the best days of my life.”
Source: Naples News