A Justin man's search for a long lost Army buddy has gone viral. Jim Garvin's search has been complicated by the fact that he only knows the man he served with in Vietnam by his nickname – “Louisiana.”
Garvin figures he took about 300 photos while serving with the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry from 1970 to 1971. Those pictures, many of fellow soldiers, tell a story.
“Nicknames were very common,” said Garvin. “We have a ‘Worm’, a ‘Mississippi’, and ‘Arkansas’," said Garvin.
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And -- a "Louisiana."
“He was just a very happy go lucky, positive individual,” he said.
One problem – Neither Garvin, or his other Army friends knows what Louisiana’s given name was, which is why he is now searching -- for Louisiana.
After a reunion of Army buddies in Florida last weekend, Jim's wife Susan posted about her husband’s search on Facebook. Response was overwhelming, but produced no answers as to the man in the faded picture.
So why is this search so important, all these years later?
“It's important to me,” explained Garvin. “Because I want to make sure someone welcomes him home."
A warm welcome – something Jim Garvin and so many other veterans did not receive once their service in Vietnam ended. Something he didn't talk about for 40 years. Medals and photos now displayed on his stairway had been packed away for decades.
“It was kind of a reminder of what I experienced,” he said. “And not wishing for anyone to have to go through it."
Only now does Garvin realize, he didn't go through it alone.
“It wasn’t the best of times,” he said. “But it was the job we were asked to do."
Which is why it's now his job, to find “Louisiana."
“I do think ultimately we will identify who Louisiana was,” he said. “And if he's still alive and if he'll let me, I will be making a trip to go shake his hand and give him a hug."