In the age of modern technology and social media, it’s hard to imagine the possibility of losing touch with a loved one or cherished friend.
But that’s what happened to Charles Lacy, a Vietnam War veteran currently living in Texas, who lost touch with a fellow soldier who became his best friend.
When Charles’ son, Bryce Lacy, came home to Richwood from college over the weekend, the two looked through some photos from Charles’ time serving in Vietnam, Bryce told Buzzfeed.
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Charles kept bringing up friend named Kermit Powers, his son said. The two wrote to each other after the war but eventually lost touch. It had been about 40 years since the war buddies had corresponded.
That’s when the 19-year-old decided to use the power of social media to help his father find his long, lost friend. On Saturday, he posted a photo of the two to Twitter, saying that he wants to “find” Powers.
hey can y'all retweet this, it's my dad & his old bestfriend when they served in the Vietnam War together, i want to find him pic.twitter.com/Ub2MZDDNuB
— bryce (@brycelacy) April 8, 2017
The Twitter universe did not disappoint. More than 55,000 tweets later, Bryce got his wish when someone located Powers, who is now living in Germany.
i have no idea who these people are but they're really nice
— bryce (@brycelacy) April 10, 2017
Fellow Twitter users led Bryce on a trail that eventually led to Powers, finding possible obituaries, news articles and social media accounts that could be linked to the veteran.
@brycelacy Per "America's News" NewsBank subscription via SF Public Library, this is the June 6, 2004 obit. Mentions "Kermit Powers, of Germany". pic.twitter.com/pmGQAssZyH
— Martha Bridegam (@MBridegam) April 8, 2017
When Bryce informed his father of the Internet’s quest to find Powers, he was “shocked,” Bryce said – although he admitted that his father doesn’t understand how Twitter even works.
But Powers seemed to have a better understanding of social media, as Twitter users-turned-detectives found Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook accounts that appeared to be created by Powers.
@brycelacy @chelseaperetti Found this guy on linkedin. Doesn't look like an active account but the Germany part might help pic.twitter.com/xiQ6NMGKNL
— Evan Smith (@sdnave) April 8, 2017
@brycelacy Bryce is this him? @powerskermit7
In Germany pic.twitter.com/ftv50GqwN5
— Jillian Hurley (@BeautyBind) April 9, 2017
The Facebook page under Powers’ named featured a profile picture that seemed to resemble the ones in Charles’ photos. It didn’t mention a Germany address but listed his hometown as South Carolina, where Charles had said he was from. The ‘About Me’ section also contained an international phone number.
Bryce messaged Powers on Facebook and got a response from Monday, telling him to have his father Skype him.
“I have been looking for him for forty years,” Powers said to Bryce. “I don’t believe this. Thanks I will be waiting.”
I just got off of skype with Mr. Powers, he couldn't believe we found him. He's really happy about getting to talk to his old friend tmrw
— bryce (@brycelacy) April 10, 2017
Charles was “surprised” when Bryce informed him that he found Powers.
The two spoke briefly together, mostly about their time in the war, Bryce said.
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