Unexpected Friendship

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another,

“What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

-C.S. Lewis

 In life, we face struggles, which sometimes seem unbearable, and the only way we can ever get through is having a hand to reach out too. By having someone at our side, we have the strength and courage to face whatever lies ahead of us. Perhaps it is the realization that we are not alone, which sparks a hope inside us, making us even stronger.

Friendship is one of the most beautiful things in life, which money or power can never buy. It is one of the greatest treasures one can ever possess. To find friendship, especially at an unexpected time and place, is one of the greatest blessing one can ever have.

A living proof that friendship can blossom even at the most unexpected place and time is the story of John Leahr and Herb Heilbrun. These two men are pilots who flew in the same combat mission. John was flying the B-17, while Herb was a Red Tail fighter pilot.

John Leahr, a B-17 pilot clearly remembers his combat missions during World War II where red tail fighters escorted him. The B-17 plane carries bombs, making it move slower than other fighter planes. John recalled how he could’ve died during those missions but because of Red Tail fighter pilots escorting him, his life was spared.

Fifty years later, he was a man in search of those fighter pilots to thank them for saving his life. He attended a memorial event for veterans where he met Herb. Both men talked and John asked if he was in the same combat missions as him. Finding out that Herb escorted him twice during combat missions, he suddenly gives the man a hug. Later on, they became friends catching up.

John and Herb prove to us once more that friendship is a rare gem which is truly hard to find, but not impossible. John was white, Herb was black. John was a B-17 pilot, Herb a Red Tail fighter pilot. Despite their differences, they found a friend in each other, though it took them 50 years.

Theirs is a story of an unexpected friendship which is worth keeping. They serve as an inspiration, proving us that it is never too early or too late to find a friend. Watch the full story of John and Herb at http://vfwnc.org/department-news/tuskegee-airman-found/.