REEVES, HAROLD RAY
Rank / Branch:
SP4 E-4 U.S. ARMY
199th LIGHT INFANTRY
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, EXPLOSIVE D
Awards & Decorations:
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HAROLD RAY REEVES, SPECIALIST FOUR, U.S. ARMY, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation's Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Harold Ray Reeves was born in Gainesville, Texas, the second of seven children born to Jimmy and Fayrene Reeves. The family moved around alot when the children were growing up as Mr. Reeves worked for a oilfield service company and they were constantly being transferred. The family finally located to Odessa in 1964. Mr. Reeves went into business for himself in Odessa owning and operating RJ Rig Sales. In Odessa, Harold attended Bonham Junior High and Hood Junior High School and then Permian High School. He was the manager for the Permian football team in 1966. At the end of his junior year,May 1967, Harold dropped out of school to go into the Army. Harold had turned 17 the month before. He went into the Army on the buddy plan with Ricky Ray of Odessa and after basic he never Ricky again.
Harold was barely able to qualify for the Army. He weighed about 110# and was 5 feet 2 inches tall. He completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and then AIT infantry training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was then assigned to Fort Ord, California and remained there for almost a year. As Harold was only seventeen when he completed his training, he was not able to go to Vietnam until after his 18th birthday. He completed the requirements for his GED while in the service.
In the late summer of 1968 after he turned 18, Harold was levied for Vietnam. He started his tour on September 19, 1968. He was assigned to A Company, 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 199th Light Infantry Brigade (Independent). The unit was operating in and around Fire Support Base "Stephanie" southwest of Saigon. On December 16, 1968, while on patrol, Harold was wounded by a booby trap and on December 18, 1968, he died from his wounds.
Harold in Vietnam at Night Lager-Vietnam 1968
Harold was buried with full military honors in the Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville, Texas, next to an uncle whom he was named for. He was survived by his parents, his older sister Barbara;, his younger sisters, Valerie; younger brother, Johnny; twin sisters Janice and Janette and the youngest brother, Bobby.
Harold in Vietnam-Base Camp-3rd from left-1969
The family suffered additional tragedy as Harold's brother Johnny was robbed and murdered December 17, 1993 in Denton County, Texas, one day short of 25 years from the death of Harold. The loss of two sons played a toll on the family. Harold\'s father died in 1998, his mother in 2002 from bone cancer secondary to breast cancer first diagnosed and treated in 1973. Both parents are buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa. Valerie, a sister indicated that after Mr. Reeves died, there was talk of moving Harold to Odessa to be buried next to his father. Mrs. Reeves before she died, had a dream in which Harold told her he was alright and happy where he was. Barbara Reeves now lives in Gainesville, Texas; Valerie Reeves Hampton lives in Gorman, Texas. Twin sisters, Janice Reeves Campbell lives in Midland and Jeanette Reeves Covert lives in Odessa. The youngest brother Bobby moved from Odessa to Gainesville in 2007 and suffered a heart attack and passed away in September 2009. He is buried next to Harold.
Fairview Cemetery, Gainesville, Texas
Harold's sisters remember Harold as little man with a big, loving heart. They indicated that Harold loved his entire family with his entire being. Harold was also loved by all who knew him, he never said anything bad about anyone. Although he was 2 inches above 5 feet, if you knew him, you would think he was over 6 feet tall or more. He never let his size stop him, not in football, not in the military and certainly not in life. The family remembers Harold in their childhood, before he had to prove he was a tall man again and joined the Army. Harold wrote home as often as he could. His sister Valerie states that he had the most beautiful blue eyes that she has ever seen, eyes that could melt your heart. Among Harold's belongings that were sent home was his helmet. Harold had inscribed his mother\'s name on the camoflaged cover. This was his expression of love and respect to his Mom.