LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) -The survivors of the Vietnam Platoon 3rd Battalion 7th Marines know what brotherhood is. They selected Lubbock as their reunion destination... starting off their reunion honoring the fallen at Resthaven Cemetery at a service that included assembling a soldier’s cross, a 21-gun salute, and a laying of a wreath provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“This service [today] is remembering those who didn’t come back,” said First Platoon Commander, Larry Wilson.
For this Platoon of infantrymen, they make sure to reunite every two years- to keep in check with each other and support each other just like they did in Vietnam over 50 years ago.
“When they fought together, they can really relate and some of it’s emotional and some of it is funny and it’s combat...and they can talk about it and that is helping them all.“
They are men that developed strong bonds on the other side of the world and when they came back to the United States, they didn’t know if they would ever see each other again. But, then Wilson, reunited the group.
“In 1997 we started reuniting and we were fighting in 1967...so 30 years later.”
It all started with a diary that one member kept. It’s something he saved and wanted to turn into a book.
“We bonded really tight over there and one of the men kept a diary that coincided with the time that I was there. And he was a machine gunner in the platoon and he wanted to validate his diary and write a book, which he finally did. And, he wanted to contact me to validate some of the information he had in his notes and I said well, why don’t we reunite, and then you can talk to the guys?”
Everyone in the platoon responded, except for one man and Wilson didn’t give up trying to contact him.
“I found out he lived in Lubbock… and I knew Lubbock. I had served here as an FBI agent I says ‘I’m gonna go see him.’ The people of Lubbock have good character and they will support him if he’s having problems emotionally getting back from Vietnam.”
Ever since 2000, that man joined the group and reunites with them every two years. Larry Wilson says these are a special group. They rubbed shoulders and really got to know each other well out in the battlefield.
“We bonded really tight over there. We were brother strangers.”
And now, they can support each other back in their homeland.
Up until Thursday, they have an extensive itinerary for the platoon to spend time together in Lubbock.