4 Marines Reunite After 50 Years To Recreate Beach Photo

April 26, 2016

At Cinnamon Beach on Florida's northeast coast, four Marine veterans huddled together around a surfboard and gazed into the camera.

To anyone passing by, it was just another photograph. But for these Vietnam vets, it was an unforgettable reunion – and a chance to recreate a moment they shared together 50 years ago.

marines return for beach pic 50 years
Twitter / Naples Daily News

The Naples Daily News described the captivating scene:

"Bob Falk, 71, wearing a mirror-image blue-and-white striped shirt, leaned against the long board's left side, resting his spare hand on his hip.

Dennis Puleo, 69, removed his shoes, revealing the feet scarred by shrapnel, and pulled off his shirt, flanking the longboard on the right, mugging a wide smile for the camera with his arms extended.

Tom Hanks (not that one), 69, stepped in front of the board and took in a long, deep breath, flexing his still-thick upper chest and sucking in his now-paunchy belly.

Finally, Bob DeVenezia, 70, crouched down in front of Hanks, resting his elbows on his knobby knees, feeling Hanks' hands placed on his back."

The four weren't sure why they hadn't seen each other in five decades.

"We just broke up. Life is funny like that," DeVenezia said.

But about five years ago, Falk stumbled across an online memorial that Hanks created for a fallen comrade they all knew. That started a chain of events that put the four back in touch.

"We all know," Puleo said after reuniting, "that we've been given a gift of 50 years."

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