Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This is my tribe . . . S. L.

Barry Sadler, soldier / balladeer

Green Beret Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler composed the #1 song in 1966, "The Ballad of the Green Berets." John Wayne used it as a theme song in his 1968 film "The Green Berets."

"Out here, due process is a bullet." . . . John Wayne as Colonel Mike Kirby, "The Green Berets"

"The Ballad" sold 12 million copies, a million in Japan alone and "went into nine versions in Germany," even though it was banned in East Germany where the government labeled the Green Berets "perverts", liking them to the Nazi SS. The first royalty check was for a quarter of a million dollars. That day Sadler, dumped on the living room floor in front of his wife Levona, $50,000 in cash. He had never earned more than $5,000 a year.

"I like creating, but I don't like going on tour - I don't want to be an entertainer. I don't think I like the traveling that much. Seems like for about 15 years, my bedroom was over a juke box. My folks were professional gamblers and we traveled a lot, wherever there was a game. Once, I went to nine schools in one year."

The Army sent Sadler on tour to promote their enlistment programs. He made more than 800 public appearances in a year and a half. Then he was released from service even though Sadler wanted to re-enlist.

"And I'd been wounded anyway. They took a chunk of beef out of my leg. I was on a patrol and stepped on a damn punji stick. Some Viet Cong had spent a few minutes sharpening a piece of bamboo and dumped it in a dung heap and there I was - infected and out of action. Can you imagine $50,000 of trained soldier sent home because of a lousy two-cent bamboo stick and manure? It was a hell of a war." . . . Barry Sadler (1940-1989)

Barry Sadler during his subsequent career as an adventurer. He died under mysterious circumstances after sustaining a head wound in Guatemala, in 1989.

Tuesday Tart



  1. I fondly recall my dad playing the Ballad for me. He had it on a 45.

  2. I liked "Ba Mi Ba" off the LP meself.

    "Can you imagine $50,000 of trained soldier sent home because of a lousy two-cent bamboo stick and manure? It was a hell of a war." . . . Barry Sadler (1940-1989)"

    "And ten thousand pounds of education fall to a ten-rupee bullet..." Rudyard Kipling

  3. Very Cool Sir. Thank You

  4. And Thank you to all the Men of The Green Berets.

  5. i gotta a special admiration for these guys
    back when yahoo had a chat room one of the soldiers in iraq wondered in. we were all thanking him and all he had to say is "its not as bad over here as they make it out to be." i always wondered if some day wed just never hear from him again but he made it out
    my x wifes cousins barracks was destroyed one day while he was out working. thank god he worked the day shift that day
    he came back at quitting time to what was left of his barracks
    . he said they had low level nuclear weapons with them. this was the first time we went to iraw after theyd looted iraq.
    thank god they both made it out
    the first guy got transferred to germany than home
    the second guy served his tour and come home

  6. Barry Sadler, song tell the stories Larry A Thorne, who is Lauri Törni, and he is original Green Berets, actor John Wayne's movie person