Seems both men served with the Army in Korea. Not only that, they were members of the same platoon at Fort Devens, stationed in the same barracks. They occupied the same bunk bed — one on top and the other below.
Now, here they were 60 years later inside a dance hall.
“I still have my draft card,’’ said one, pulling out his wallet.
“So do I,’’ said the other, also extracting his.
The cards were a bit worn around the edges but very much valid. In the midst of all the commotion, here were two octogenarians from the same military mold hugging. After being shipped to the front lines that year, they lost touch with one another until fate reunited them on this evening.
The next time you see a military veteran, shake their hand. Show them a little respect. Above all, thank them for the service they rendered.
Most of them probably wouldn’t want the recognition. But nobody deserves it more.
Photographer and writer Tom Vartabedian is retired from the Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.