NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From the battlefield to the Internet, a former Marine has found a way to help thousands of his fellow veterans reunite with others that they have served with.

George Reilly, a retired NYPD detective, spent many years hunting down criminals. Now, he’s putting his investigative skills to use for a different cause.

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The Vietnam veteran spends hours online tracking people down and helping fellow veterans reconnect with those they served and fought alongside. It’s camaraderie that very few truly understand.

“The people that were with you hold a special place in your heart because they were there to save you, and you were there to save them and that’s just a bind that can never be broken,” he told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco, “Only the people that have been there with you know what you’re talking about.”

So far, Reilly has singlehandedly helped about 3,000 veterans reunite with other veterans, some from the Korean War and World War II. He works with an organization called “Together We Served” — an online community that also helps connect service men and women.

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“In fact, we hooked up together for a fishing trip, four of the men I hadn’t seen in 40 years. I found four or five guys,” one veteran said.

Reilly said that every day is Veterans Day to him, because he’s able to help make these special reunions possible.

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