Brothers in Arms Reunite 50 Years Later


CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Four men sit together and reminisce of days long gone. One publishes newspapers, one publishes magazines, one is a woodworker and the fourth does reception work at public works. A lifetime of different experiences connected by one thing – brotherhood.

April 18, 2013, nearly 50 years after they discharged from the Marine Corps, James Elsener, William C. Donohue, John Russell and Joe Yaworski met aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. to see how the base, the surrounding area and the Marines have changed since their time in the Corps.

Yaworski, a former sergeant, from Jacksonville, N.C., hosted the get together. He drove his guests around the base to show them some of the differences. The men were surprised to see how much construction and development has changed the base.

Although the base has changed, Elsener, a former sergeant, from Chicago, said, “As we [drove] around all of these things [came] to me. I [said] ‘I remember being here, I remember being there.’”

 The men also noticed how the Marines themselves have changed. They said that the Marines seem better educated and in better shape than they used to be.

Donohue, a former corporal, from Chicago, Ill., said, “I’m very impressed. Most old-timers will tell you it isn’t the way it used to be. It isn’t and that’s a good thing.”

All of the men talked about the progress since their days in the Corps. Each one of them was very pleased and proud of what the Corps is today.

“You guys have handled our Marine Corps very well. I’m really proud to be part of it,” said Russell, from Tyrone, Ga., who left the Marine Corps as a corporal. “You guys are taking it to another level. We never could have done what you guys have done.”

All of the men were happy to be able to spend this time together to catch up on old times, and to see the legacy of the Marine Corps. Yaworski said, “I have many events to attend this year and this will be the highlight of my year.”

After such a great experience, these brothers plan to keep in touch via email and telephone and host more get-togethers with the other men whom they served with so many years ago.

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