Search For Vietnam Vet ‘Louisiana’ Comes To Bittersweet End
Last week we told you about Jim Garvin, a Vietnam veteran, who was searching for his friend that was nicknamed, "Louisiana."
A group of Army buddies started their search for their friend "Louisiana" back in May. All they had was his nickname, and a single photograph.
The post made by Garvin's wife went viral with over 167,000 shares on Facebook. People from all over the world were getting the story in search of "Louisiana." With that nickname, it was assumed that he at least had some sort of roots in the bayou state. Well, it turns out that couldn't be further from the truth.
The search for "Louisiana" came to a bittersweet end over the weekend. Garvin and his other Army buddies who were searching for the man known only by his nickname learned that "Louisiana" was named Harold Thomas, who unfortunately died of a heart attack in 2015 at the age of 65.
The good part of the story is that Garvin spent most of the weekend catching up with Thomas' family. Even learning the origins of the nickname "Louisiana." It all had to do with his southern drawl that he never lost as a child. However, it turns out, not only was Thomas NOT from Louisiana, he hadn't ever visited the Bayou State.
Essentially, "Louisiana" was hiding in plain sight when they began searching for their friend. One of Garvin's veteran friends reached out to him with a list of soldiers that he'd served with, all kept in a book. It had the names of the men, as well as their hometown.
The name Harold Thomas never drew any interest in the search because his hometown was listed as San Jose, California. Nothing to do with Louisiana.
Harold Thomas was born in South Carolina, moved to Oklahoma, and finally to California when he was 7-year-old. This is where he grew up and lived the rest of his life. He never lost that southern drawl, though. And he called everyone, "y'all," which prompted people to call him "Louisiana." When he enlisted, he told his new Army buddies to call him by the nickname.