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Remembering A Yorktown Marine Who Died in Vietnam

Photo Credit: File

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- The Yorktown Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send signed letters to yorktown@dailyvoice.com.

To the editor:

The names of four men from Yorktown Heights are chiseled in the marble of the Vietnam Memorial wall. One of them is Craig Barry. He was killed on April 11, 1970, 45 years ago. I don't know the other three, but I did know Craig Barry and I would like to pass my recollection along to his hometown and maybe even to his family while I still can.

I remember striking up a conversation with a guy from New York. I am from Texas, but when you are way away from home, the things you have in common matter more than the differences. His name was Craig Barry, we called each other by the last name for the most part, I called him Barry. He said something that really stuck with me. He said "I am here because I do not want someone else to have to do my part." He joined the Marine Corps at a time when a lot of men were being drafted.

The next day I saw him again in a truck headed outside the "wire" and waved or nodded to acknowledge our new friendship and moments later, after they got out of sight, there were explosions and the accompanying bustle that occurred when there were "incoming" rockets or bombs When the dust settled, Barry was dead.

I remember, distinctly, Barry saying that he wanted to do his "part" and did not want someone else to have to go in his place. I don't think that Barry thought the "part" he spoke of the night was that he would be killed by mines. But he knew that was a possibility. When I think about heroes, I think first of him.

Yorktown Heights was home to a man who put his life on the line just so that someone else would not have to.

Ben Mauldin

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