Four decades later, veterans reunite after discovering both live in Tucson

Two veterans rekindled their friendship from four decades ago and soon learned both lived in the same city.
Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 5:46 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The military is a small world – that’s what William Mitchell, also known as Mitch, was told when he first joined the Air Force.

Mitch, a retired master sergeant, and his friend Curtis Freeman met back in 1981 at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. But, they lost touch after 1983, when Curtis was stationed in New Hampshire.

It wasn’t until a friend request on Facebook in 2011, that the road to reuniting began.

“Recently, I started going through old pictures that I had, and what I did was I started sending pictures that I thought were pertinent to certain people, through Facebook and text, just so they could have them and have those memories,” Mitch said. “He was one of them.”

It was only this past week that Mitch and Curtis started chatting more frequently, catching up on their shared passions and time in the service.

What neither of them knew, however, was that they both lived in Tucson.

Mitch suggested they finally meet, and for the first time in decades, two long-lost friends are back as one.

“You know, it’s not only the memories that are coming back, but it’s also the heartfelt reunion of the friendship one had back in those days; it’s like it was never lost,” Curtis said.

Despite being apart for decades, Mitch and Curtis still share the same interests now – especially cars.

Curtis actually sold Mitch his first Chevy Camaro before he was stationed in New Hampshire. Over the years, Mitch grew to have three more Camaros of his own, but he still kept the original owner’s manual from his first ride.

As a thank you, he returned the manual back to Curtis, and Curtis gave something in return – his scarves from when he served.

“We still have so much more to discover about our likes and dislikes, and through time, we’ll be able to do that,” Mitch said.

Along with their taste in cars and music, Mitch and Curtis look forward to learning more about each other’s families and lives and being able to have their buddy by their side again.

“I mean it’s just so special that we can just reconnect and move forward,” Curtis said, “and be best friends again.”