KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Ninety-five-year-old Thomas Colonna and 94-year-old Sterling Mace haven't seen each other for nearly 70 years.
- WWII vets reunite after 70 years
- Families helped reunite vets in Florida
- Mace wrote book about their friendship
The two grew up together as kids in Queens, New York. They went to the same school, did athletics there and later enrolled in the Marines at the same time.
Both were deployed to Japan during World War II, but soon after, they lost touch – until now.
It’s a reunion that took months to pull together, all thanks to younger relatives and social media.
“They talk about when they were growing up together,” said Dotty Sonnichsen, Colonna’s daughter. “Even now they still cry when they talk on the phone together. First time they both couldn't talk at all -- they were both crying.”
Colonna’s family brought him from New York all the way to Florida to meet up with his old bud, Mace.
“I was just happy they were able to do this. It was very, very touching. For me and I know you as well. I was choking-- there were tears to my eyes,” Sonnichsen said.
A few years back Mace wrote a book called “Battleground Pacific-- A Marine Rifleman Combat Odyssey.”
The book details Colonna and Mace’s friendship and showcases images of the two during the time they served.
But now more than those pictures, these best friends have a lasting memory of their reunion.
“Looking at their faces, it was just well worth the trip,” Sonnichsen said.
While Colonna and Mace have to go back to their respective homes, they now chit chat once a week on the phone and reminisce about the old days.
Check out Mace’s book on Amazon.