COOLEY, MONTE RAY
CPL, U.S. ARMY
Winkler County, Texas
Bronze Star w/V, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal.
Monte Ray Cooley, nicknamed "Bubba" by his sisters, was a paratrooper with the 82nd and then the 101st Airborne. But his first experience with a parachute was when he was ten years old. He took one of his mother's large silk handkerchiefs, tied it at the four corners, and held it over his head as he jumped from a water tower. To his mother's amazement, not a bone was broken.
Born in San Angelo Oct. 7, 1947, he grew up in Mentone, Pecos, Culberson County, Carlsbad, NM, and was graduated from Kermit High School in 1966. He was a Golden Gloves fighter for the Kermit Boys Club in 1965 and 1966, winning the Sportsmanship Trophy at the 19th and 20th Annual Regional Golden Glove Tournaments in Odessa, the only fighter to win the honor twice.
Cooley was killed March 18, 1968, when he rushed forward into enemy fire in an attempt to rescue a wounded comrade. He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, at the time of his death. He had been in Vietnam since Dec. 6, 1967.