An Oregon man is turning to the Central Valley for help finding a long lost army buddy.
Jim Lewis was stationed in Wertheim, Germany at Penden Barracks in 1963 and 1964.
That’s where he met a soldier named Dan. Lewis does not remember Dan’s last name, but believes he now lives in Fresno’s Tower District.
Lewis lives in Roseburg, Oregon and said he has no social media, so he did things the old fashion way — mailing letters to about two dozen Tower homes hoping someone can put him in touch with a friend he hasn’t seen in more than fifty years.
“I never had an opportunity to thank him for his friendship and to say goodbye to him when he left,” Lewis said Monday.
Lewis said Dan took him under his wing and protected him. They were both in the 557 Medical Company. Lewis said they were together for no more than a year and a half, and then Lewis was sent to a three month special assignment. While he was away, he believes Dan was discharged or reassigned. They never saw each other again.
“Friendships are rather fragile, and it’s nice to hold on to them if it’s a true friendship,” Lewis said.
He’s now 76-years-old and wants to grab a hold of that friendship once more.
“All of a sudden I get this letter in the mail and this letter is all handwritten and it’s this military guy and it tells this story about how he has a friend he hasn’t seen since who knows when,” Nicholas Tarazi said.
Tarazi is one of about two dozen people Lewis wrote hoping they could help.
“He was very grateful of anything that anyone could do to help him,” Tarazi said.
“I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude and I’m just really hoping that something good will happen,” Lewis said.
Lewis has no pictures of Dan, but said he’s African American and would be in his mid 70’s.
His biggest wish, is to pickup where they left off.
“I’m hoping we’ll have a lifelong, what we have left, friendship,” Lewis said.
If you have any information you can reach Jim Lewis at (541) 670-3301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.