Thomas Barry, 2nd Bde LRRP and K/75 Ranger, passed away January 11, 2010


March 4, 1951 – January 11, 2010

Tom was born in Grant, Indiana on March 4, 1951 to Laurence Claire Barry (1926-2009) and Maria Benvenuta Meneghini Barry (1930-1981).  Tom’s youthful beginnings formed an early basis for his transformation into the formidable warrior he was to become.  He lived and grew in a loving family of six boys.  Growing up in the Barry home with his 5 brothers, Craig, David, Steven, James and Ronald house, meant if you weren’t a warrior you played with no toys.

The family moved from Indiana to California and it was there that Tom graduated from High School, then enlisted in the Army on July 8, 1968.  Tom did not intend to waste his 3 years of service, he volunteered to patrol the jungles of Kontum Province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam on a 4-man Ranger team.  While assigned to the 2nd Brigade LRRPs of the 4th Infantry Division, his warrior skills and courage made him a popular team member and a feared adversary to the “bad guys”.  During his service in RVN, the Army re-designated all of the LRRP units into 75th Infantry Ranger units.  Toms beloved 2nd Bde LRRPs became Company K (Ranger), 75th Infantry (Airborne).  For Tom and the men of his unit it meant nothing other than a different patch on his shoulder for he went to war with the same men and weapons in the same jungles searching for the same enemy.   Tom is remembered as an ideal team mate, courageous and skilled in the field, yet fun to be around between missions while at basecamp. 

Tom was discharged on July 16, 1971 then met and married Mitzi Percy Barry in 1973.  Hard to say if the adjustment to civilian life was too much, too fast, but the marriage did not last and they were divorced in 1975

Shortly after the divorce of his first wife, Tom met the recently widowed Alice L Carlsen Fortino.  Determined to be happy in life, they married in 1976 in Shasta, CA.  Their marriage lasted for 8 years until they decided to part in 1984.  Marriage is never easy, but the added burden carried by some Ranger’s experiences sometimes makes happiness a near impossibility.  Not every injury of war is easily seen or treated.

Tom and his wives were blessed to have two beautiful children who were the culmination of his life.  Tom had many reasons to be proud of his life’s efforts but his son Michael Adams Barry and daughter Ann Marie Barry were his most proud accomplishment in his life.

Tom worked as a Data Technician for RCA Data Services in California for many years.  Hard to picture the Tom we knew silently stalking the enemy in the triple canopy jungles of Kontum would end up laboring over a keyboard next to a guy with a pocket protector.  Tom would smile to think of that comparison.

Thomas Michael Barry, 58, of Lakehead, CA. passed away January 11, 2010 at Shasta Regional Medical Center due to a massive stroke.  He rests with honor in the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo, California.