There were smiles and laughter, sandwiches and fried chicken.
But those in attendance were not connected by strands of DNA, but by bonds forged during the Korean War some 60-years ago.
They are the last remnants of Company L, a group of men who stood together on the hills of a foreign land and battled both the enemy and the harshest of weather because America asked them to.
On Friday the men, as they do on every even numbered year, got together in Calhoun to see their brothers.
“With this group, it was my family for two years,” said Willie Miller, a native of Memphis who spent more than 20 months in Korea.
Miller was one of a nearly dozen veterans of Company L who attended the event. As many as 100 men and their wives once attended the reunion, but that was in 1989 and their ranks shrink by the day.
More than 7.5 million troops served in some capacity during the Korean War, which lasted from 1950-1953, according to information from the Department of Defense (DOD).
Roughly 54,000 troops lost their lives either in combat or as the result of other factors during the war, according to DOD sources.
The 2010 census reported that 2.6 million Korean War veterans were still living, a staggering reminder of how many have died since 1950: nearly 5 million.
Those surviving members of Company L are in their 80s and 90s now and the trip is often too difficult for those who live far away.
But for those in attendance Friday, the reunion still had meaning.
“We had a (man) who spoke here one time that said that we were all so close we’d be more likely to help each other than our own brother,” said Lucius Gilreath, the man whose family started the reunion in 1984.
Those are not empty words. Gilreath and his fellow soldiers bonded on the front lines of the war, many of them firing artillery shells at the enemy as riflemen advanced.
Company L, part of the 3rd Battalion, 180th Infantry, 45th Division, did its best to survive in conditions that no one would want to experience: bitter cold, poor supplies, and long nights without campfires.
“We knew we had to be (in Korea),” Gilreath said. “We knew we couldn’t come home, so it became more or less like a big Boy Scout campout. We tried to make the most of it.”