Barry Sadler (Barry Allen Barry Sadler)

Barry Sadler

Barry Sadler

Singer, United States Army Soldier. Born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, he was introduced to music at a young age when he spent some time at a logging camp. In 1958, he enlisted into the United States Air Force as a radar specialist, but discharged one year later to begin touring and playing music. His venture ultimately failed and he chose to return to the military, enlisting in the United States Army as an airborne paratrooper. Shortly after training, he was shipped to Vietnam. In May of 1965, he was wounded in the knee by a Vietnamese punji stick, sharp carved sticks often coated in poison. Though he never showed any signs of sickness, the wound itself became seriously infected. While he was recovering, he would record what would be his only number one hit song, “Ballad of the Green Berets,” which was released in early 1966. None of his other songs would ever come near the success of his first and Sadler turned to writing, authoring twenty-two books about a mythical character, “Casca”, the soldier who pierced Jesus Christ’s side with his spear during the crucifixion. Christ looked down at him and condemned him to be a soldier forever — the “eternal mercenary.” Near the end of his life, Sadler would move to Guatemala City, where on September 8, 1989, he was shot while riding in a taxi. The cause of the shooting remains unknown today. He died a few months later of the wound. Sadler was shot in the head at night in a taxicab by someone pursuing a robbery attempt. He was airlifted back to the United States by friends from the magazine Soldier Of Fortune, where he was hospitalized and remained in a coma for several months. He was released eventually, but with significant brain damage. When released from the hospital during January 1989, he was reported missing by his family and was eventually found. He died on November 5, 1989 at his mother’s home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, of complications from his gunshot injury, just four days after his 49th birthday. He was survived by his wife, Lavona Sadler, daughter Brooke Sadler, and sons Thor Sadler and Baron Sadler.[


More Images

  • sadler grave -


  • November, 01, 1940
  • Carlsbad, New Mexico


  • November, 05, 1989
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Cause of Death

  • gunshot to the head


  • Nashville National Cemetery
  • Nashville, Tennessee

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