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Four Marines, Then and 50 Years Later

These two photographs were taken 50 years apart. On the left, best buddies Dennis Puleo, Tom Hanks, Bob DeVenezia, and Bob Falk were taking a break from Marine training on a California beach. All four friends reunited for the first time in decades to recreate the picture on Cinnamon Beach in Florida.   

In 1966, the four U.S. Marines were stationed together in Camp Pendleton, outside San Diego. The Vietnam War was ramping up, and together, they were part of a weapons platoon — three machine gunners and one anti-tank man — getting ready to ship off to East Asia.

Over the next two years, they'd train together and deploy together. Once in Vietnam, they'd separate, enduring many of the same horrendous conditions, if not the same action. Two of them would earn Purple Hearts. Each would experience the unexplainable fear of war.

"We had the tools. We had the training," DeVenezia said. "But nothing trains you for your first combat. Nothing. Zero."

After their Vietnam tours, the four went their separate ways, and only last month did they all get together for the first time. Read all about the reunion at the Naples Daily News. -via Uproxx


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