Garland Williford

Garland Williford takes his show to local nursing homes.

BOSSIER CITY, La. -- Garland Williford used his gift of music in the military during the Vietnam War. And he still sings and plays to brighten the days of others.

Williford plays a tour of local nursing homes.

"I love it. I like entertaining. I enjoy giving back to the seniors," Garland says, noting that he's a senior himself at age 75.

"I enjoy making them smile and giving them some enjoyment. After a while you see their feet move, then you'll see their hands tap. Music is something that they can relate to," he added.

Garland sets down his Vietnam War veterans cap, puts on a cowboy hat, and strums a guitar to go with his vocals.

"I always start off with with old country. That's what I feel more comfortable with. And I do some '50s and '60s. I do some '30s and '40s pop. And I end my show with gospel music," he says.

When he was 17, Garland signed up for the Navy. And while on duty in special services for a year at Da Nang in 1967, he played in a band to entertain troops coming in for R&R.

“They come in out of the bush and they spent seven days. just just doing whatever they want to do. I played in a band called The 17th Flight. Everybody in the band came in on the 17th day of a month. And we played China Beach," Garland says.

Garland was also part of the deck crew on a tanker, refueling ships. And he decided he wasn’t long for ship life and the Navy.

"When you're on the ship, you've got no place to go if you have a fire," Garland says, his eyes widening. "I was proud to go and do do my job, whatever it was. I'm glad that God kept me safe through that.”

Garland also delivers Meals On Wheels to seniors. And he spends time putting smiles on the faces of youngsters at Christmas as Santa Claus.


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