Doug Kaufman and Jim McGee hadn’t met since serving alongside each other in the Vietnam War, but a funeral brought them back together in the summer of 2018. And it was at this reunion that Kaufman was inspired to give McGee an incredible gift that would link the pair for a lifetime.
McGee and Kaufman were just two of the many young Americans to serve in Vietnam. But even though the conflict in which the pair took part remains widely known as the Vietnam War, that is something of a misnomer, as fighting also took place in Cambodia and Laos.
Meanwhile, although Kaufman and McGee had also been in the same Air Force training class, their lives took them in different directions after the war had ended. McGee, on the one hand, became a foreign service officer helping to develop American foreign policy. He also went on to serve as the U.S. ambassador to both Madagascar and Zimbabwe during separate periods.