November 11, 2015
Their connection goes back to March 1968 in Fort Carson, Colorado, where C Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, was training to go to war.
NEW YORK -- Serving together in Vietnam, John Middaugh and Henry "Bill" Warner forged an Army-brothers bond they knew was profound and lasting.Henry "Bill" Warner, left, and John Middaugh clasp hands prior to their surgeries at
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. (Mark Lennihan)
A world and nearly a half a century away from the war zone where they'd counted on each other, Middaugh put himself on the line for Warner this month in a new way: by giving one of his kidneys.
"He had my back many times," Middaugh said as they awaited surgery last week at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, across the country from his home in Port Orchard, Washington. "So this is payback time."
Both are now 73. Warner, of Brightwaters, New York, had been through a health wringer since his kidneys failed after heart bypass surgery in June 2014, abruptly thrusting him into dialysis.
But "we got through Vietnam. We'll get through this," Warner said.
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