Vietnam veterans enlisted together, share unbreakable bond to this day
They have been friends for more than 50 years, and served at the same time in the US Navy.
This Saturday, they will be together again for one more history-making mission in Buffalo.
“You just feel such a bond with these guys. We've been through everything together,” said veteran Randal Lamb.
Veterans Bill Loverde, Daniel Noonan, and Lamb sat in a quiet restaurant Thursday, reminiscing about the day that changed their lives - the day they enlisted to serve in Vietnam in 1965.
“We were so naïve,” recalled Noonan. “I didn't even know where Vietnam was. When we went through boot camp, they shoved a rifle into my chest and said, 'Where's Vietnam?' and I didn't know!”
They each accepted different military assignments.
Bill Loverde was a medic known as "Doc Roc," and was soon contracted to the Marines.
“Bill’s my personal hero,” said Lamb. “There's many men that came back that have their families and their kids, because Bill was there to save them,” said Lamb.
They returned from deployment in 1969. And since then, these friends became family.
Lamb married Noonan's sister, and Loverde became the godfather to Lamb's daughter.
“I'm so thankful to God for that,” said Loverde. “That we're still alive and able to do things together.”
On Saturday, together, they'll witness history for the USS Little Rock Commission in Buffalo. On Saturday, for the first time in naval history, the USS Little Rock will be commissioned alongside the original USS Little Rock.
While none of them served on that ship, the event is something they felt obligated to attend, and, of course, they'll do it together.
“When you know that you have a bond like this, it's permanent,” Noonan added. “And I guess when you look back at life and the few things you have, and love. And we have that.”
“I feel such a closeness with these guys, they're my brothers. And they always will be my brothers. And I love you guys,” said Lamb.