Note left by Vietnam soldier brings two families together

Note left by Vietnam soldier brings two families together
Harvey Cooley
Harvey Cooley

(WMC-TV) - Veterans Day is extra special for two men, whose friendship was forged by a soldier killed in Vietnam more than 40 years ago.

"He didn't make it back," said veteran David Lawson.

19-year-old Harvey Cooley was an Army medic, shot to death in Vietnam in May 1968.

"He was a lot like myself, quiet, busy," added Lawson.

Then Memphian Cooley met another Memphian, David Lawson, at basic training.

Before being deployed to Vietnam, Cooley wrote a note to Lawson, giving a location and time to meet when they got out of service.

"Tore it in half, he kept one half and I kept the other. We had planned on meeting in West Memphis at the mobile home sales place," said Lawson.

That meeting never took place.

Cooley's note was forgotten, until recently, when Lawson came across Cooley's family on the Internet.

"I've made it my passion, my mission to find people that knew Harvey. He was only in Vietnam for a short period of time before he was killed," said Bob Cooley.

This time, though, it was Bob, Harvey's brother, who was found through the Internet.

The two men forged a friendship, and Lawson remembered Harvey's note.

"Having talked to Bob, I've learned a lot of Harvey I didn't know from being with him," said Lawson.

Now, more than 40 years since his death, Harvey Cooley's memory is still very much alive....thanks to a simple note and a friend who never forgot him.

"David and Harvey got along real well, just like brothers," said Cooley.

Harvey Cooley's story is just one of many stories featured in the book All They Left Behind.

To read more or submit your story, click here.

Portions of the proceeds from the book will benefit The Education Center at The Wall.

More information about The Center can be found by clicking here.

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