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Nov 10, 2022

In this episode of Change It Up Radio, my Dad, Jack Gutman, and his best friend from World War II, Jerry Ackerman, join me to talk about their first in-person reunion after being separated for over 75 years, each not knowing if their beloved friend had survived the war… a touching story that has since gone viral, now reaching over 2 million views!


My dad, Jack Gutman, and his best friend, Jerry Ackerman, met at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, during World War II and were instant buddies who were both from New York and had many things in common. Unfortunately, they were separated when they were assigned different battleships that were en route to the invasion of Okinawa – one of the biggest naval battles of World War II that left thousands dead.


Fast forward to 2022, Jack and Jerry, who are now both 96 years old, have been reunited after a long 75 years of not even knowing if the other was still alive, all thanks to Jerry’s son, Peter, and some searching on Google! Many of you met both of these men when we shared their story on Memorial Day of this year. But, a lot has happened since then… a month after our last interview, Jack and Jerry finally got to see each other again in person!


In this episode, they reminisce about fond old memories and their fast-growing friendship during World War II and share their experience of being reunited for the first time in over 7 decades at Camp Pendleton, where it all began for them. This beautiful love story about two best friends reuniting after thinking that they’d never see each other again has since gone viral online, warming many people’s hearts, helping them during hard times, and reminding us all that nothing in this world is more important or more powerful than love.


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