NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Vietnam veteran John Middaugh, 73, is helping his army brother Henry “Bill” Warner, 73, in a battle that will bond them together forever.
“There’s a lot of meaning in that ‘brothers in arms,'” Middaugh said.
Middaugh traveled across the country from Washington State to donate a kidney to Warner, who settled in Brightwaters after the war, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.
Warner’s kidneys failed after receiving heart bypass surgery in June 2014, forcing him into dialysis treatment. After family and other donor possibilities didn’t match up, Middaugh didn’t hesitate to volunteer.
“For our troops he would have given an arm and a leg, why not a kidney,” Warner said.
Middaugh and Warner both trained at Fort Carson, in Colorado, and received purple hearts for their service in Vietnam. After the war ended, they ended up going their separate ways, raising families on opposite sides of the country. Their bond however, was unbreakable, resulting in more than 45 years of friendship.
“In March of ’68 he walks in and says we’re going to Vietnam, I’m your company commander — I said you gotta be kidding me,” Warner said. “We trained together and went to Vietnam together, did battle together.”
Post-surgery, Middaugh and Warner are both in good condition. Middaugh was released from the hospital over the weekend, and Warner is still recovering.
Middaugh said he always kept in mind a principle the army taught him — know your men and look out for their welfare.
“Well we’ve put out life on the line in other missions in Vietnam and this is no different from those missions so to speak,” Middaugh said. “He would do the same for me, there’s no doubt in my mind.”