It’s not every day that an old friend shows up on your doorstep unannounced after 40 years apart. John and Arturo served together in the U.S. Army in the 1970s and then lost touch as life took them in different directions.
“After we part ways in the military, we always have our friendships in the back of our mind and we never let them go,” John says.
In 2017, while chatting with a mutual friend, John decided he wanted to start searching for his lost pal, Arturo, to rekindle the old friendship.
“As we get a little bit older, we think about our legacy and the fun times we had together. I wanted to share it with my wife and prove to her some of the stories that I’d been telling—that some of these great adventures were actually true,” John says.
He turned to the internet, searching every source he could think of. But to his disappointment, every lead or phone number he found took him to a dead end. And the last two addresses on the list — his last chances to find Arturo — didn’t have phone numbers.
So in 2021, John and his wife, Catherine, traveled more than 1,000 miles from Arizona to Texas to visit friends and check if Arturo might be at one of those addresses. After no success at the first location, they arrived at the last one — their final hope. With anticipation building inside of him, John pressed the Ring Video Doorbell, only to find out nobody was home. The couple waited a few moments and was about to give up and walk away when finally, they heard a response on the doorbell.
“When I heard Art’s voice, I recognized it immediately. I also recognized his humor and the inflection of his voice,” John recalls.
Since he wasn’t home, Arturo used Two-Way Talk on the Ring App on his phone to talk to John from his daughter’s house across town.
“It was a flood of emotions that rolled back for me — now a friendship had been permanently bonded,” John recollects.
Arturo says he first recognized John when he saw him on the Live View from the video doorbell. “Our faces, you know, they change a bit,” he says. “But he remembered me, and of course, I remembered him as well.”
Arturo invited John and Catherine to his daughter’s house. Luckily she, too, had a Ring Video Doorbell and got an alert on her phone when they arrived.
“That’s when I opened the door and we saw each other and hugged,” Arturo says. “I felt surprised, anxious, and happy to be reminiscing [on] the good old times.”
Thanks to a Ring Protect subscription, the emotional reunion was saved on the Ring App so that the families can share the Ring video and remember the moment forever.
“We're going to be able to save those recordings now for our children, our grandchildren, and any of our descendants in the future,” John adds. “Somewhere down the road, even if it's hundreds of years, [they] will be able to see this particular event.”
After a short visit, the two families made plans to keep in touch and meet up again soon.
“If it were not for the great technology and this simple doorbell, we may have missed this opportunity for the rest of our lives,” John says.