Vietnam Vets Finally Found Their Old Army Buddy ‘Louisiana’
Last year Vietnam veteran Jim Garvin and friends asked for your help finding an old Army friend known only as "Louisiana". Well, they finally found him.
After the original Facebook video was posted last year by veterans Jim, Doug, and Stan asking help to find "Louisiana", they had a worldwide viral search on their hands. The video was viewed over 4 million times!
As a result of their viral video, they found out their buddy previously known only to them as "Louisiana" was a man by the name of Harold Thomas. Ironically, Harold was from San Jose, California. In fact, he never lived in Louisiana and had never even been here.
From jimgarvin.org -
"Harold was born in South Carolina, moved to Oklahoma and then to California around age 7, where he lived for the next 58 years. But apparently, he never lost his childhood southern drawl. After addressing his northern California friend as 'Y’all', he was nicknamed 'Louisiana'. Apparently, he loved the name and his friend who nicknamed him because, by the time he arrived in the jungles of Vietnam when people asked his name, his response was, 'My friends call me Louisiana.'"
By the time Jim Garvin finally got the information he needed to locate his old friend Harrold "Louisiana" Thomas it was too late. Thomas passed away in 2015 from a heart attack.
However, Garvin was able to get in touch with and get to know Harold's family. They were able to swap stories, laugh and cry reminiscing about Harold.
Susan Garvin from jimgarvin.org -
"We believe that as Harold passed from this world 3 years ago, he received the best 'Welcome Home' one could hope for. And now I’m smiling through my tears as I imagine that someday, 'Louisiana' will greet Jim once again and say those words that only these veterans can truly understand, 'Welcome Home, Brother!'”
I contacted Susan Garvin to ask her permission to use these pictures of Harrold "Louisiana" Thomas and she gave me some awesome information.
From Susan Garvin via Facebook -
"2019 Angry Skipper was held in Dallas Fort a Worth last weekend. 39 vets and their families flew in a Vietnam era Huey helicopter one more time, toured Ft Hood (hosted by their First Cavalry unit) and memorialized their fallen brothers, and more. And 'Louisiana’s' 4 sisters attended the reunion in his place! They were presented with a memorial quilt for their brother and they flew on the helicopter in his place as well. They hung out with their brother’s combat buddies and are now part of 'the family'. My husband Jim and I hosted the reunion this year with 158 attendees."'
Please take the time to go read the entire story about Jim and "Louisiana" over at jimgarvin.org.