After 50 Years, Veterans Recreate Beach Photo
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
It’s a story of survival and reunion, as four former U.S. Marines, Bob Falk, Dennis Puleo, Tom Hanks (no, not that Tom Hanks), and Bob DeVenezia, got back together to recreate a photo they took over 50 years ago. The friends had been close when they trained in the Marine Corps before deploying to Vietnam. However, after the war they lost touch and didn’t really have motivation to stay in contact due to all the negativity surrounding the war. DeVenezia told the Naples Daily News, “Life is funny like that. I didn’t keep in touch with any of them. There was something about the Vietnam War and the negativity we kept hearing.” They each went in different directions with their lives and never planned on meeting up again, that is, until Hanks created an online memorial for a fallen veteran they all knew. Falk saw it and the men started to reconnect. Hanks was looking at old pictures when he saw the one they had taken at a beach in Oceanside, California, some 50 years before, and had the idea to recreate it. Soon, the four men headed to St. Augustine, Florida, to recreate the picture, borrowing a long board from a local surf shop. The friends resumed the same poses, striking the same facial expressions they had 50 years ago. “It’s a really funny picture, but one with a lot of heart behind it,” DeVenezia said. After the shoot, they grabbed lunch at a local fish shack clad in yellow t-shirts that Falk designed especially for the occasion. After all was said and done, the friends reminisced and enjoyed each other’s company. Puleo said he was glad he decided to come, while Hanks said it was one of the best days of his life.