For more than 70 years, Albert Terzes and George Christakis have been creating memories together.
The two friends will share another significant experience today when they participate in an Honor Flight Chicago day trip.
The Honor Flight program recognizes World War II veterans. Through the program, veterans travel from Chicago to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II memorial and other monuments.
"I didn't think I'd get there," Terzes, 90, of Merrillville, said of the World War II memorial.
While celebrating his 90th birthday this year, Terzes' family told him he was selected to participate in the Honor Flight trip.
Terzes was excited about the opportunity, but one of his initial thoughts was, "what about George?"
Christakis, 98, of Hobart, hadn't yet been nominated to participate in a Honor Flight trip.
His family quickly submitted an application and later was later notified Christakis would be taking the trip with Terzes.
"Thank you, buddy," Christakis said to Terzes. "You've been a great pal."
The two men met in the late 1930s through church, Terzes said.
Their relationship became so strong that a war couldn't keep them from contacting each other.
Terzes served in the U.S. Navy, and Christakis was in the U.S. Army during World War II.
"You were all water, and I was all land," Christakis said to Terzes.
Christakis recalled receiving mail from Terzes while Christakis was in a foxhole during the Battle of the Bulge.
The letters sent during World War II often involved "razzing" each other, Terzes said.
In Terzes' letters, he would joke about Christakis being in a foxhole while Terzes was serving on the USS Essex aircraft carrier.
"It was a lot of fun," Christakis said of the letters.
The friends said they continue to be close. They regularly see each other at church and at a monthly senior citizen event, Terzes said.