Finding Air Force Buddies for a Reunion
Tracking Down Old Friends from the Military
My husband served in the Air Force back during the Vietnam War era. That was a long time ago, but he made some deep friendships in the four years he was in the service.
He stayed in touch with one friend over the years. The two of them visited each other annually, even with Tim living in Missouri and us living in Maryland, Texas, Florida, or wherever we were over the years. He had lost touch with the others over the passing of forty years.
Four years ago, he decided to track down another friend that he hadn't heard from since their time in the Air Force. We went to Tom's hometown in New Hampshire, but he wasn't living there anymore. We picked up a few clues there and finally found him using those bits of information and the Internet. That summer, we had the first Air Force reunion in Maine with Tim, Tom, my husband, and the wives.
It has now become an annual tradition, with more and more old Air Force buddies being found and coming to the reunion.
If you want to hold your own military buddies reunion, I've included some links for good sites to search.
Photo Credit: vallain
Finding Old Friends
The Air Force Buddies
The second year, my husband tracked down another Air Force buddy that he hadn't seen in forty years. Wes was living in Houston, Texas. His career was unique enough that it made it easier to track him down on the Internet even though his name was pretty common.
The second Air Force reunion included four of the old gang (Tim, Tom, Wes, and my husband). The reunion was held in New Hampshire.
Finding Another of the Buddies
The third year, Tim and my husband were able to find a fifth old buddy, Stas, in Michigan. He was able to attend that summer's reunion, and a sixth buddy from Georgia made it that year as well. He and Tim had stayed in touch over the years. This time the reunion was held near St. Louis, Missouri.
Track Down Your Military Buddies - with these Internet Resources
- How to Reconnect with Old Friends | eHow.com
People are so mobile these days, that we often lose track of friends from our childhood, from college, from time in the military, or other connections. Now and then they cross your mind and you wonder how they are doing. Take action to track them dow
- GI Search | Military Locator. Find Someone in the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marine Corps or Coast Guard
GI Search is a free military search / locator service that helps locate lost friends, family and keep in touch with fellow service members in the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
- Find Vet Friends
A Proud Veteran Community. Honor, Reunite & Share with 1,000,000 Military Veteran Members! Search / Locate Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, & Marines. Thousands have been reunited, spanning from WWII to Iraqi Freedom.
- Unofficial Air Force e-mail Locator
USAF-Locator provides Past, Present, and Retired USAF Members a way to find friends, locate a buddy from the past, post their information, or organize a reunion.
- Free People Search, Military Locator, Military Reunions, GI Bill Benefits, Military News, Veteran Be
Free People Search and Military Locator for veterans and military personnel. Free military reunion planner and more veteran resources.
- TogetherWeServed - Connecting US Air Force Airmen
Airforce.Togetherweserved.com is a community heritage site where you can record your Airforce service, reconnect with your friends those who served with you and videos about our Airmen around the world.
The Aircraft of the Vietnam War
Your buddies will enjoy reminiscing as they share this photographic history of USAF aircraft deployed during the Vietnam War era.
Way Back When
Still Buddies after All These Years
and even the wives bonded
The men chatted about old times and "do you remember..." while the wives listened. Old photos and slides were brought out and shared. During the two- or three-day get-togethers, there were walks in the woods, kayaking, motor-boat rides, and retelling of old stories around a campfire and the dinner table. The wives got acquainted while chopping the salad vegetables and clearing away after meals. They discovered many common interests.
Now in between each reunion, the wives keep in touch with e-mail, and the Air Force buddies plot out a time and place for the next reunion.
Places Where the Air Force Buddies Live Now
- Tim - Festus, Missouri
- Dennis - Poinciana, Florida
- Tom - Kittery, Maine
- Wes - Houston, Texas
- Stas - Harrison Township, Michigan
- Phil - Atlanta Georgia
Planning the Reunion for Your Air Force Pals - a book available from Amazon
I didn't have this book when we put together our reunion, but we were working with just a small number of people. If you plan anything larger, it might be wise to get this first.
Another Get Together by the Old Pals
Winter 2011 Air Force Buddies Reunion in Central Florida
Tim, Tom, Denny, and Phil made it for this reunion and two of the wives were there. The weather was perfect for the ones coming from Maine and Missouri as they were quite weary of snow and ice. There was lots of visiting while relaxing on the lanai, at the pool, and there was even time for tennis.
We made sure that everyone got to see an alligator. (photo by Virginia Allain)
As more Air Force buddies are tracked down and more retire and are able to travel, it may get to be too large a group for anyone to host in their home. One idea was to book a cruise together or a train trip across Canada. Great idea! We can all visit and see the scenery at the same time.
© 2010 Virginia Allain