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      Vietnam Veterans Reunite For First Time In 45 Years

      Franque Thompson

      OMAHA (KPTM)- 20 Marine Sniper veterans of the Vietnam War reunited for the first time in almost half a century, Friday. It's a reunion many said was long overdue.

      "We spent a long time searching for these guys and now, you know, we want to get back to it let them be part of us again," said Marine Sniper veteran, Mark Gunter.

      The men shared survival stories from their time during the Vietnam War. Many haven't seen each other more than 45 years ago, said they moments like it was yesterday.

      "It's almost like we're bonding even stronger now because we have the commonality of having the experience, but we've got all these years to reflect back on what we've been up to," said Marine Sniper veteran, Harlow Williams.

      However, veterans said reflecting on their time in Vietnam was not easy.

      "You have people that, they stare at you, they don't like you, cuss you for being over there, call you baby killer and what have you," said Gunter.

      "I've had 45 years of anger against the government of my own country that sent me to do something that was inconclusive and murderous on both sides," said Williams.

      Williams said seeing his old comrades does not change those feelings, but he does believe reconnecting with his band of brothers is a new start to healing.

      "Even though, politically we may not agree, we really have a strong bond and there's a lot of strength to be gained from looking back and sharing," he said.

      Some of the snipers weren't able to make the reunion because of health or travel reasons. The Marine Sniper veterans plan to make the reunion an annual event and have even more of their partners join in.

      fthompson@kptm.com

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