Two Upstate WWII veterans meet for 1st time - WSMV Channel 4

Two Upstate WWII veterans meet for 1st time

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Veterans Frank Hames (left) and Jim Wiggins share memories at lunch. (July 1, 2014/FOX Carolina) Veterans Frank Hames (left) and Jim Wiggins share memories at lunch. (July 1, 2014/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Just a few days before July 4, two veterans who fought overseas during World War II came together in the Upstate for the first time.

Tracy Saad owns Carolina Caregivers, and when she and another employee realized the two men, just two years apart and living just 20 minutes apart, both fought in the war, she knew they had to meet.

So Saad organized the lunch on Tuesday for 92-year-old Frank Hames and 94-year-old Jim Wiggins so they could meet, share memories and swap stories.

Over macaroni and cheese and the watermelon at the Hampton Buffet on Wade Hampton Boulevard, Hames and Wiggins reminisced about leaving for war, both so young.

"I guess you expected everybody to be there. Just like the little song that used to go, where have all the young boys gone? They gone to war!" Wiggins said.

"Told everybody goodbye," Hames said. "I had my toothbrush."

Wiggins was a paratrooper, earning two Purple Hearts in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, while Hames was a sailor in the Philippines and at Okinawa.

They may need a little extra help these days, but Hames and Wiggins were once young, fit and fighting for the United States. And today, they call any veteran they meet comrade, no matter the war they fought in, because they say they all fought for the same purpose.

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