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Two World War II veterans stumbled into each other in the parking of lot of the mineral spring in New Market after 70 years apart.

"The odds, a million to one? Gotta be a million to one," said Ward Ashley turning to his former shipmate Joe Wolfe who gave him a nod.

After that surprise coincidence the two Navy men met for a second time on the front porch of an East Tennessee Cracker Barrel. Before a lunch together they took time to page through old pictures and logs of their days aboard the USS Kenneth Whiting.

"I had my old copy of the Goodspeed translation of the Bible, the back of it is salty Joe, from all the waves," said Mr. Ashley.

One of the memories the two shared was an attack on their ship by a Kamikaze.

"I have a log right here Joe and on June the 21st that suicide plan hit us Joe," said Mr. Ashley.

"I remember, I remember," acknowledged Mr. Wolfe who turns 91 years old this month.

After their military service, both Mr. Ashley and Mr. Ward went on to attend Carson-Newman University, but missed each other there by a year or two. Mr. Wolfe went on to work in the purchasing department in Oak Ridge. Mr. Ashley became a teacher, principal, and baptist minister.

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