COOLEY, MONTE RAY
Rank / Branch:
CPL E-3 U.S. Army
101ST AIRBORNE DIVIS
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, MULTIPLE FR
Awards & Decorations:
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MONTE RAY COOLEY, CORPORAL, U.S. ARMY, KERMIT, WINKLER COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Parachute Wings, Bronze Star w/V device,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 attended Odessa College after graduation. While in high school, 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.
Kermit High School, Class of 66
Monte enlisted in the Army after attending Odessa College. He completed basic training and AIT at Fort Gordon, Georgia and then completed jump school at Fort Benning. He was initially assigned with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, then assigned to the 3rd Brigade of 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as they were mobilizing for Vietnam.
Monte 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.
Cooley Far Right Waiting for Patrol -1968
Cooley Far Right Member of Sgt England's Team-1968 Shortly Before his Death
Monte was buried with full military honors in the Kermit Cemetery in Kermit, Texas. He was survived by his parents, Mr and Mrs. Forrest Cooley and his three younger sisters, Kettisha Ann, Ree and Virginia. His father passed away in 1991 and his mother in 2009. They are buried next to Monte.
Kermit Cemetery, Kermit, Texas