Published Sunday, 08 July 2012
In the 1989 film, which earned Cruise an Oscar nod, the actor plays Ron Kovic, a brave US soldier who was paralysed while fighting in the Vietnam War.
The pair developed a lasting friendship on set and now the movie icon, who turns a year older just one day prior to Kovic, honours the veteran's special Independence Day birthday with a floral bouquet to let the ageing hero know he's thinking of him.
Yet Cruise's kind gesture doesn't go unnoticed - Kovic always reciprocates.
Speaking to the New York Post last week, Kovic said: "Tom turned 50, so I sent 50 red roses to his office... and at my hotel room we received a knock on the door this morning, and Tom had sent me nearly three dozen roses.
"We've never missed that tradition in the past 22 years. Ever since the movie came out, we've shared birthdays by sending each other flowers."