Army buddies from New Jersey reunited after 66 years

Posted: Updated:
PATERSON -

Two veterans from New Jersey who struck up a close friendship in the Army were reunited Tuesday for the first time in more than six decades.

Pete Fleming and John LaRaia met at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1952 for basic training and soon became fast friends. Fleming was then sent to Korea and LaRaia to Germany and they fell out of touch.

Both men later became police officers, Fleming in Paterson and LaRaia in Englewood Cliffs, only about 30 minutes apart from each other.

And then, after 66 years…

“I heard somebody saying 'Billy LaRaia' and I said, ‘his name is LaRaia?’ I said, 'Let me show you something.’ I showed them this picture [of LaRaia and me],” Fleming says.

It turned out that LaRaia’s son Bill and Fleming have a mutual friend. They soon made plans for a reunion.

LaRaia brought a scrapbook filled with pictures from training to reminisce. Both men are now 86 years old and say that they are grateful for the chance for an old friendship to be new again.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Photos: Devils 2018 playoffs

    Photos: Devils 2018 playoffs

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 5:53 PM EDT2018-04-18 21:53:12 GMT

    A series of photos of the New Jersey Devils in the 2018 NHL playoffs.

    A series of photos of the New Jersey Devils in the 2018 NHL playoffs.

  • Musical acts coming this summer to the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City

    Musical acts coming this summer to the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City

    Florida Georgia Line is set to rock Atlantic City on July 13.Florida Georgia Line is set to rock Atlantic City on July 13.

    The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City has announced that it will be opening its doors to the public on June 28 at the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal.  Throughout the summer and early fall, the Hard Rock will live up to its name with a lineup of some of music's biggest stars.   

    The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City has announced that it will be opening its doors to the public on June 28 at the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal.  Throughout the summer and early fall, the Hard Rock will live up to its name with a lineup of some of music's biggest stars.   

  • Former first lady Barbara Bush through the years

    Former first lady Barbara Bush through the years

    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.
    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."