Army Archives - StoryCorps

Friends During the Vietnam War Reunite Almost 50 Years After

Back in 1967, close to 500,000 US troops were serving in Vietnam, including Kay Lee and John Nordeen. Kay was 22, a combat medic from San Francisco. John was 20, and a soldier from Seattle. They were assigned to the same Army platoon and became fast friends.

NordeenExtra2

But the two lost touch after the war. For years, John tried to find his old friend. They finally reunited in 2015 on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a Chinese lunar holiday that celebrates family, gratitude and reunions.

And 50 years later, John and Kay sat down at StoryCorps to remember how they first met.

Top photo: Kay Lee and John Nordeen on October 30, 2018 after their StoryCorps interview in San Francisco, CA. By Susan Lee for StoryCorps.
Middle photo: Kay Lee and John Nordeen in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Courtesy of John Nordeen.

Originally aired November 16, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.