Search for Vietnam war buddy “Louisiana” comes to bittersweet end

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A group of veterans were on a mission to find a man who served with them during the Vietnam War. They had one main clue: he might be from Louisiana.

The vets made the plea to find their friend on social media and it was shared more than 170,000 times.

Susan Waldrop Garvin, the wife of veteran Jim Garvin, posted a video and photos of the war buddy.

In the post, she wrote that he was a grunt on the ground in Vietnam: ARMY infantry; D Company; 2/8th CAVALRY; Range platoon.

She said the photos in her post were likely taken between August 1970 to February 1971.

Her husband’s platoon buddies had so many nicknames for the man, but didn’t actually know his real name. They had all called him “Louisiana,” she wrote.

Garvin said she had hoped the post will help find her husband’s war buddy.

On Memorial Day, Garvin posted a message on her Facebook account, thanking veterans and active military from all wars The message also went out to “Louisiana,”  who still hadn’t been identified at that time. 

On Saturday, June 2, Susan Waldrop Garvin’s Facebook post was updated to say that “Louisiana” had been found.

Their post states that the veteran, identified as Harold Lee Thomas, had passed away in 2015. Thomas died at age 64 at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, according to dignitymemorial.com.

He spent his early years in Oklahoma and then South Carolina until the age of seven. Thomas was known as “Rooster” as a child.

He entered the U.S. Army in 1968, and three months later found himself in Vietnam. Thomas was awarded numerous medals, including three bronze stars, and retired after 30 years. 

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