In Memory of Monica "Lil' Sis" Harvey


On August 2, 2019, the Vietnam Veteran community and the country lost a wonderful lady. Monica Harvey better known as Lil' Sis passed away. She dedicated her life to God through her ministry and to Vietnam Vets across the country. She wept with us, prayed with us, gave us hugs and the Welcome Home so long in coming. To each vet; she gave a simple little pin called the Band-Aid for the Heart, I have worn mine for close to 15 years as a sign of strength, healing, and knowing that it was packed full of love and caring. As I sit here with the intent to write a great tribute to this wonderful lady, I stumble and struggle; trying to find the words and come to the conclusion that there aren’t enough words to describe her and the many wonderful things she did for so many people.

Monica was a God-send for Vietnam Vets and over the years; she earned our love, respect, and the name Lil’ Sis. Her prayers, her hugs, and her Angelic voice when singing cured many damage and shattered hearts. Whenever she would meet a veteran; she gave each a simple pin. It was called the Band-Aid for the Heart, such a simple material item filled with so much love and healing would mean so much for so many. I still have mine; as shown in the picture below; worn as a blessed badge of courage and healing.

The only words I could use to describe her were words I borrowed from her ministry website and the words fit her perfectly.

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.”

For as much as my heart aches for the loss of Lil’ Sis, the best tribute to her would be the people she touched during her lifetime; for they know how wonderful she is.

I will leave all this in silent reverence and in memory of a loving soul and a true woman of God. I have used part of her obituary to tell the story of Lil’ Sis.

Monica graduated from Kearney State College in 1969 with a Home Economics teaching degree. While student teaching at Stapleton High School, she met a fellow teacher by the name of Robert “Bob” Harvey. They were married on January 2, 1970 in Ansley, NE. and made Stapleton their home for the rest of her life. In January they would have celebrated their 50th anniversary. Monica taught in North Platte, Oconto, Callaway, Tryon, and for most of her career at Stapleton. She was always looking for innovative ways to attract students and especially boys to her classes and FHA (Future Homemakers of America) program. She challenged her students to be entrepreneurs. She was very proud of her students that took the challenge and helped organize the Teen Center in Stapleton. She enjoyed taking many students to FHA conventions across the country. In 1992 Monica received the NVHETA Outstanding Teacher award and in 1993 the NVA Outstanding Home Economics Teacher award.
After teaching, Monica poured her entrepreneurial spirit into other endeavors. She served on the Governor’s Commission for Rural Economic Development for three years. She helped promote economic development on Highway 83, including getting Highway 83 designated as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway.

She organized some “Welcome Home” celebrations for Vietnam Veterans along the Highway. This was the beginning of her ultimate calling and ministry to veterans.

In 2001, Monica began her Veteran’s Music Ministry as an outreach to all Veterans, but especially Vietnam Veterans. She sang at Veterans Homes, hospitals, psychiatric wards, and correctional centers, and anywhere else she could find veterans that needed encouragement. In 2004, Monica began volunteering at travelling Vietnam Memorial Walls. Monica has volunteered and sung at over 150 Wall Events in over 30 states. Her last two Wall events were in Grand Island in May and Lusk, WY in July. She also sang and volunteered at Biker rallies, Vietnam Vet reunions, National Memorials, Retreats and Tributes around the country.

Monica went by the nickname “Lil Sis” as she just liked to be available with a listening ear for whoever needed to talk. Monica was probably best known for the “Band Aid For the Heart” pins that she passed out everywhere she went. The pin symbolized her mission in life, to point people back towards God where they could find true healing for their wounded heart. In the process she made many lifelong friends. When not travelling, Monica was continuing her encouragement of vets through the phone, email, and Facebook.

Author's Note: I would like to Thank a special friend (you know who you are)for the special favor and blessings received before our Lil' Sis passed away..Thank You.

Good-Bye for now and rest in Heavenly Peace Lil' Sis.

Your Death Is Earth’s Tragic Loss

But Heaven’s Sweet Gain.

©Copyright 2019 by Phil “Country” Crowley