The United States has seen its fair share of wars throughout the years. One that many Americans still have personal memories of, is the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War, which started on February 28, 1961, and didn’t officially end until May 7, 1975, was tough. Not only were American soldiers fighting and losing their lives, but upon returning home in the states, most of them were treated poorly.
This particular war was highly political in a lot of ways. That, along with facing combat, had a huge impact on the soldiers’ lives. So, when a touching story surfaces, it immediately grabs attention.
Viral for all the right reasons
A video uploaded to social media has reached the hearts of many. To date, it’s been viewed more than 693,000 times. After watching it, people from around the world posted touching comments.
This video tells the story of two Vietnam veterans, Ivis Sloane and Jim Martin, who thought their buddy perished in the war. The three served side-by-side and had become more than just friends. During the Vietnam War, these men depended on one another day and night.
The third man of the trio is Tony. Unfortunately, he was critically injured in the war. As he was rushed away to the hospital, Ivis and Jim didn’t think they’d ever see him again.
Decades went by
For 53 years, Ivis and Jim thought their friend Tony had passed away. As you can imagine, the news was heartbreaking. Yet somehow, they moved on with their lives, getting married and having kids.
The internet helped reveal the truth
Five decades later and with the power of the internet, Ivis and Jim learned their buddy Tony was still alive! Shocked and in disbelief, they knew that somehow, they had to reunite. Then, they discovered that Tony’s friends and family were throwing him a 75th birthday party.
They didn’t tell Tony they were coming
How these two kept things quiet, no one will ever know. But at Tony’s party, Ivis and Jim showed up. For the first time in more than 50 years, there they were, back together again just like they were while serving in the Vietnam War.
Tears, smiles, and a lot of tales
Finally, the three friends hugged with tears flowing all around. Later in the day, Tony stated that he was trying to figure out who Jim was. He immediately recognized his buddy, Ivis, but Jim looked completely different.
A day they’ll never forget
Not only were Ivis, Jim, and Tony reunited but they also had the chance to meet each of the men’s extended family. The event was festive. They couldn’t have asked for anything better.
But things did get better
There was another surprise for Tony. And this one was huge. In front of the people he loved and cared for, as well as a local veteran’s biker club, he was presented with a Purple Heart.
It had been far too long since these three friends had seen each other. And way too long for Tony to wait to receive such a prestigious award. But now, that didn’t matter.
It’s sad that these friends missed out on many years of good times together. But there’s no doubt they’ll try and make up for it.
Watch the video below to see the emotional reunion for yourself!
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Source: YouTube – KTVB, Pew Research Center