'I'm so grateful': Vietnam veteran reunited with best friend from war

Harold Lockett has spent his life wondering what happened to a fellow soldier he'd become close friends with.


An Ohio man who fought in the Vietnam War has spent his life wondering what happened to a fellow soldier he'd become close friends with.

Thanks to his youngest daughter and the internet, he now knows the answer and finds new healing.

Harold Lockett was 20 years old when he was drafted. He served in Vietnam from October 1968 to October 1969.

"I shut Vietnam completely out of my memory. I tried my best to because of the traumatic experiences I've had," he said. "This past Memorial Day, I had dreams that were so vivid I could feel the weight of my gear and my weapon. It was so vivid."

Last summer is when his thoughts about sharing what he experienced began to change. He told one person then another about what he went through. He recalls sobbing as he told horrific stories of danger and loss. Now, he is finding healing through sharing.

"I was a good soldier," he said. "I have a story to tell."

One memory he never forgot is that of his dear friend and fellow soldier Prentice Boyd Sr. from Texas, whom he met in Vietnam.

"We just connected. I think our upbringing may have been similar. I really don't know, but he had a really nice spirit and we just really hit it off," Harold Lockett said.

He has a photo of the two of them at war, although he does not remember when the photo was taken or how he got ahold of it.

On New Year's Eve, he shared the photo with his youngest daughter Kiva Lockett and told her about his friend.

"He said, 'You know I remember he can do a great impersonation of Louis Armstrong. I just remember he had the prettiest white smile and that was like my best friend there,'" Kiva Lockett shared.

Harold Lockett's last memory of Boyd is on what he calls his worst day at war. It was filled with danger, death, close calls and explosions.

Kiva Lockett knew how much it would mean to her father to know what happened to his friend. She started scouring the internet and combing through social media.

"Then I just started going state by state to VA databases, and I was looking for fallen veterans first. Because at that point my dad didn't even know if he had made it out of Vietnam alive," Kiva Lockett said. "Just did a LinkedIn search and I saw a gentleman with the same name. I tried some different variations of the spelling from Texas and he appeared to be around my age."

So she messaged him and shared the photo.

"He responded, 'Wow that's my dad. I've never seen this photo before. This is unreal,'" she recalled.

She said she immediately called her dad and had to explain what LinkedIn is. He called Prentice Boyd Sr. within a few minutes.

"It was just tears. It was just tears, tears. Man, I'm so grateful. It's so good to hear your voice," Harold Lockett said. "I always cared about him. It's bittersweet because he sounds pretty sad. I'm overjoyed. I am overjoyed. This is the best I've ever been in my life."

The two caught up, shared stories and remembered how they bonded over music. They even whistled the song they used to whistle at war, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass' 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart'.

"Prentice was my affirmation. 'Yeah, Flash. That was my nickname. That actually happened. You did do this,'" Lockett said. "I'm a miracle. We're a miracle."

Lockett said he just started sharing his war stories last summer and has only told them to two people so far. He said he is more inspired now than ever to share his stories with others and hopes other veterans will share their stories too.