Veterans have you reunited with people you served with?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has recently located his former commanding officer.They served together in Viet Nam. He had been looking for him for over 40 years.

I recall asking my dad if he wanted to lookup any old friends from his Navy and Air Force days. He was a Radioman in the Navy for 12 years and always told me he only served on small ships. They never organized any reunions. He moved to the Air Force and became a supervisor in the instrument shop. He kept in touch with a few friends for about ten years after he retired. He never mentioned people he knew in Viet Nam and never expressed any interest in revisiting that year of his life. I know he was moved around between several airfields, I recall Da Nang and Nha Trang. I doubt he had time to make any close friends there.

I’ve wondered if Vets here keep in touch with old military friends or attend military reunions?

Nope, never. After I retired I ended up working with a guy I knew in the military, but it was purely a coincidence that we ended up with the same company, and while he thought we were good buddies, I never really cared for the guy. After 23 years, it turned out that there was only one person that I cared to ever see again. I was able to contact him, and we spoke a couple of times on the phone, but he died last year, so that’s the end of that.

Most “friendships” in the military are marriages of convenience, so to speak. You end up deploying with people that you pal around with, but they’re not usually people that you want to get together with later in life, or even when you’re back in the States for that matter. Combat forms very strong bonds, but that’s a unique experience. I know that some vets spend a lot of time hanging out at VFW bars crying in their beer about the goddamn gubmint and whining about what happened 40 years ago, but that to me seems like a life of desperation. One person that I was in Vietnam with found me on this message board, of all places, and we corresponded a bit, but that’s been it.

I served 8 years active duty as a USAF officer. That was 25 years (!) ago.

I still exchange Christmas cards with 1 person. I have a couple of other email addresses that are probably still good, but haven’t been used in (WAG) 5 years. Other than that I have no touch with anyone I was ever stationed with. Except my wife of course.

I’ve never attended, nor had an interest in, a reunion. I’ve never tried to locate somebody using Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Then again, on the gregariousness scale I rate about a 2 on a particularly outgoing day.

I attend reunions.

Since 1998 the company I served with in Vietnam, Golf company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, has been having reunions. I missed the first on since I didn’t know about it but have been to all the rest and don’t plan on missing any in the future.

We’ve probably had about 500 different guys show up. Our largest reunion was probably in 2003 and 2004 when we had over 100 attend.

The company was in Vietnam from July 1965 until September 1970. All told something between 1,500 and 2,000 men went through the company. So we’ve had a pretty good percentage show up.

It’s worked out really well for me. I’ve got friends all over the country that I can stop and see.

That’s cool, SandyHook! Wish my dad did something like that. We’ve looked sporadically to find stuff online about his company but never find anything. He’s never mentioned wanting to find anyone by name.

No have not seen anyone since I left the sevice in 1977, but a buddy of my father (served in a WWII engineering battalion in Leyte) called on him 40 years later, in uniform!

About a dozen of us shipmates keep in touch semi-regularly. Mostly emails. And I get together with about 3 or 4 of the guys every year or two. It’s been over 40 years now and in the past 5 years or so we’ve lost a few so our numbers are dwindling. :frowning:

My two best friends were on my last boat with me (though I actually met one elsewhere, five years before he transferred to the boat). I’ve kept in touch all along with my LPO’s ex from my first boat ('83-'89) and a couple of friends from the ship ('89-'92). And since joining Facebook I’ve hooked up with a few hundred old shipmates, from all five of my PCS commands.

Haven’t been to any reunions, though I’d love to go. There are three this year, in fact, but my budget won’t stretch that far… :frowning:

[Not a veteran] I don’t suppose this is much different from other non-military occupations, though. People have a job, and the people they work with may or may not be people they care to socialize with on any long-term basis. Some, yes, but mostly not.

I was in the Air Force for ten years, and at every assignment, there were one or two people I would connect with that I have kept up contact, but for the most part, no.

Although through Facebook, Instagram and twitter, I have more contact with them than ever.

It seems that I have drifted farther to the left in my political leanings while most of them have drifter harder right.

I occasionally talk with a friend who was in Korea with me. But his life and mine are so different that we rarely have much to discuss when we do chat. I have also run across people who I was in the military with in Las Vegas when I’m out there.

I would never attend a reunion. For me the military was part of my life, but not the major part. I have found that “reunion people” either never had many experiences in their lives as good as being the military was for them or they forget how things were for them in the military and they have a “Pollyannish” view of the past.

For me, the military was something that I did because I was too lazy (read:stupid) to go to college after high school and now it’s a source of a few good stories and a lot of bad memories that I don’t really care to dredge up unless I have to.

I’m still in the National Guard so I still often see many of the people I went to Iraq with. I’ve been in for 25 years and spent the first four in the regular army. Not that long ago I was able to connect with a few guys I was stationed with in Germany. There was a Facebook page for my long since closed base and several were on it. Haven’t seen any of them in person.

Never been to a reunion - in fact, never heard of any. I live fairly close to someone I had avionics training with and served in my first squadron with - she retired from the reserves, while I just got out and was done with the Navy back in the 80s. She and I have gotten together a few times, and we always intend to spend more time together, but it never seems to happen.

I’m also in touch, via email, with my first Navy boyfriend. He’s been thru 4 wives, so I definitely dodged a bullet there, but we exchange news every once in a while. I haven’t seen him since the mid-70s, tho.

I was fairly close with another guy I went to school with, and later he was assigned as the senior military guy where I was working as a civilian. He retired from the Navy, but I found he got weirder as he got older, so we’re rarely in touch any longer.