Carter and Jackson Hansen were only 10 years old when they first started getting interested in the military. It all sprang from their obsession with the board game, Battleship, but it didn’t stop there.
These two boys decided they wanted to know more about the military and, in particular, naval warfare. History was of interest to both of them, but little did they know that they would meet up with somebody who was straight out of history and form a friendship that would last a lifetime.
According to the CBS Evening News, all of this started back in 2015, and their parents liked the fact that they appreciated history. They took them to Charleston, South Carolina, and they were able to tour the USS Yorktown. That retired aircraft carrier was the scene of many battles during World War II, and the boys were amazed by what they saw and learned.
That carrier is also where they learned about a veteran from World War II named Robert Harding. They wanted to learn more about him, and they were able to get his email address. They started a conversation and quickly grew to be friends.
Carter and Jackson often visited the aircraft carrier and the people who worked on it wanted to give them a surprise. They were taken into a special room and they saw someone sitting on the other side. It took him a moment to recognize that it was their friend, Robert.
They rushed over to hug the old veteran and began talking about whatever was on their mind. As it turned out, Robert needed someone to talk to, and he opened up about his life.
They continued to be friends and they received a number of surprise visits from Robert over the years. They were even able to sleep overnight on the ship in bunkers as if they were soldiers.
At one point, they got invited to visit with soldiers who served on the USS Yorktown. They became honorary members of the retired crew that worked on that carrier. Through it all, they continued to exchange emails with Robert and talk to him about the time that he served in the war. They always signed those emails, “your friends and shipmates.”
They also had another surprise, and that was to travel to Oklahoma to see their old friend. You can see it for yourself in this video:Whizzco