Delbert Johnson and David Anderson both grew up in Texas, met during basic training at Fort Hood, and served in the same squad during the Vietnam War. And even though they lost touch over the years, they haven’t forgotten each other.
“We went through basic training together and all of the different other trainings that the Army put the new recruits through at that time,” said Anderson. “Then we went to Vietnam together, we were assigned to the same battalion, the same company and the same squad.”
“During [the war] our friendship strengthened. We were both just trying to survive,” said Johnson. “I would describe David during this time as funny with an incredible laugh but also quiet. He seemed to just sit back and take everything in.”
When the two men returned home to Texas, they lost touch, engrossed in raising families and making a living, but Anderson never forgot his friend and brother, reported NBC 5.
“Some years back, I started wondering whatever happened to some of the guys I served with in the Army. For some reason, I don’t know exactly why but the memory of Delbert stuck with me more than most,” said Anderson, who employed the skills of his children to help him get in touch with Johnson over the internet.
The two chatted and discussed plans to meet up, but the plans never came to fruition… until now.
“I kind of got busy living and raising kids. Fast forward some twenty plus years and for reasons I don’t know why, Delbert got on my mind again. It has now been better than 52 years since I had seen Delbert,” said Anderson.
Anderson now lives in Duncanville just south of Dallas and Johnson in Conroe north of Houston, but the two decided that because of the uncertainty of the times, the time to meet up was now or never.
“I thought I’d better try to see this guy before we’re done,” joked Anderson.
So the two men in their 70s did just that. Both Anderson and Johnson finally met up and caught up over a steak dinner, wives and masks in tow.
“I am 74 years old and I can’t remember when I have been so excited about anything. I felt like a kid, all smiles and butterflies in my stomach,” said Johnson. “It was great to have someone to talk to about your time in the military that truly understood your thoughts and feelings because he was right by your side through it all.”
“I don’t know how to adequately describe that feeling, seeing him after more than 52 years and remembering some of our shared experiences we had. I can tell you I enjoyed the heck out of it,” Anderson added.