WALLACE, Idaho -- A group of Army veterans reunited Thursday in Wallace, Idaho, more than 50 years after they bought a car and set off for a cross-country road trip.
Tony Jordhamo, 79, Bob Lamoree, 76, and Wayne Haldi were discharged from the army at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina in 1962 and decided to buy a 1949 Desoto to set off on a trip across the country. Colorado is the last place they saw each other.
Kyle Haldi first got the idea to make the reunion happen more than a year ago. He found his dad’s Army buddies on peoplefinder.com. Jordhamo was living in Connecticut and Lamoree in Virginia. Haldi grew up in Wallace but now lives in San Diego. When Kyle pitched the idea of coming to Wallace to surprise his dad, Jordhamo and Lamoree were both on-board.
“One of them we picked up today from the airport on our way into town and the other one actually drove 2,700 miles from Connecticut one way,” said Kyle.
To make the reunion complete, Kyle found a replica of the car they drove from Fort Jackson, South Carolina to Denver, Colorado. It took five months to restore it and get it to Wallace.
Wayne Haldi was overcome with joy when he saw his friends, breaking down into tears.
"To me, that's what showed me how important and how much it meant to him,” said Kyle Haldi. I'm so excited for him right now.”
The three veterans drove the vehicle all across the county, sharing memories about the car and a time that linked their souls together. They eventually ended up in Denver, Colorado where the men last saw each other.
The three men planned on catching up on old times for the next few days. Both Jordhamo and Lamoree said it was well worth the trip, but they just wish they wouldn't have waited 52 years to see each other again.