WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Veteran’s Day brought together a group of veterans who have created a tradition 50 years strong.

Each year, the vets gather at a local watering hole for lunch and a little reminiscing.

The core of the group, now well into their 70’s, were reservists serving stateside between 1968 and 1972.

“A lot of us were college kids that didn’t know what we were doing at the time. We just had a lot in common, so it was really easy to develop friendships that have held together over 50 years,” Mike Rublein, an original member of the group, said.

For the last 50 years, the men gather for lunch on Veteran’s Day. Each year reopens the vault filled with memories.

“We talk about how good we were, and not how good we are today. And what’s going on in our lives. And a little bit of history. How it was when we were in the Army,” Rublein said. “Our group was a similar age, similar background. We were all from the area, mainly Grand Rapids (and) West Michigan.”

They were able to serve at home, all the while knowing they could be sent overseas at any time.

“Most of us at that time were newlyweds, looking at a family and not knowing how that would come together. It was a huge challenge,” Rublein said.

In recent years, the gathering has grown from the core group, welcoming in younger veterans. And as the group welcomes in those younger veterans, the hope is the tradition will continue for another 50 years.