Florence Vietnam veteran searching for remainder of Platoon 2027
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 22:23:52 GMT —
Since 1999, Javier Solis has been on a mission to find and reunite the members of Marine Corps Platoon 2027. Among them, the 81 members and three drill sergeants in the platoon share about 100 Purple Hearts. Not one of them died while serving in Vietnam.
"I always wondered, what happened to those guys that I served with, what became of them, how their lives developed," Solis said.
The thought stayed with him long after the war ended. It's led him on a search that's taken him everywhere from back to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, to Marine Corps Headquarters in Virginia. He's accounted for all but six of his platoon-mates.
"I'm glad I didn't die without doing this," Solis said.
Along the way, he met comrades who helped him put together the pieces. One had a completed roster of the platoon.
Solis taught himself how to use a computer, and he sent thousands of letters to anyone across the country he thought might be one of his brothers.
"It takes a while for it to kick in, but once it kicked in, it's almost like we have not been apart for a minute," Solis told us.
Solis says a completed platoon in time for their 50th Anniversary next year would be like winning the biggest lottery in the world.
"What the search has taught me is how meaningful that interaction is, was and will always be," Solis said.
The 50th anniversary reunion is planned for April 2016 at Marine Corps Headquarters in Virginia.
Javier Solis has been unable to connect with:
John A. Serrano
Pablo S. Morales
Julio O. Santiago
Czeslaw J. Piotrowski
James F. Johnson
Francisco J. Perez
If you can help him locate one of these men, Solis' email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tune in tonight at 10 and 11 p.m. to see this story.