In 1969, while serving a tour of Vietnam, soldier Mike Gude experienced the unthinkable. Gude and his four-men recon unit were gathering enemy intel in the Vietnamese jungle.
By the time the men realized the area was booby-trapped it was too late. Gude set off a mine that blew off a part of his leg.
“I heard this big blast – the blast is not sharp. I saw a big black cloud. I thought I fell in a hole,” Gude said. Thank goodness his brothers were there. “Two of them saved my life,” Gude said.
However, after he was rescued, Gude never saw the men again. “I didn’t even know if these guys were alive,” said Gude.
For the past 45 years he has been wondering if his comrades survived one of the most gruesome wars in United States history.
Then things changed. With the help of an online message board, Gude found those lost comrades: Howard Hunt, Grady Fox, and Bob Bodemann. By some miracle they were all alive.
Each of them spent over four decades wondering if their brothers had made it. You have to watch the tearful, incredible reunion below, it gives me the same goosebumps I had while watching veterans Rick and Joe reunite.
The men of the 173rd Airborne meet each other at Ontario airport. They all embrace each other and the hugs say it all.
“My life is complete, so if it ends today, I had a beautiful life,” says Gude. Beautiful.
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