ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Barry Brown is a 1988 graduate of Staunton River High School…..he was a football and track star for the Golden Eagles…earning a partial track scholarship to Norfolk State…with money options limited for school he joined the Army…serving from 1994-2018 and hasn’t looked back.
“Being in the military, you meet a lot of friends , your learn about team work, selfless service and protecting your country and doing the right things,” said Brown.
His military career in the rear-view now – and brown says there were some scary moments – along with the good stuff. Including his first deployment – the same year he joined up – in 1994. He was headed to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy — a U.S. military intervention to overthrow a military regime set up after a coup – three years earlier.
“We do all of this training and before I know this we were down in Norfolk on the Eisenhower. We had Black Hawks of the Aircraft Carrier before you know it we were loading up with ammunition and getting ready to go hot. You talk about scared, I was 23 at the time and I was scared. When we landed on Port Au Prince I was petrified, I didn’t know if I was coming back. Luckily everything it all worked out the way it was supposed to be,” said Brown.
Life out of uniform for Brown – includes family time – of course – but also a gig at the post office – and a passion for writing. Something he and friend Ted Edlich put into action – to write a book on long time Roanoke coach -Army veteran – and Brown’s co-post office worker – Joe Gaither.
And once Coach Gaither gave his blessing – Brown got to work – interviewing some of his former players.
“Some of the things Coach Gaither told me would be the things some of his players would share even more with me. It took about 2 years to write the book. When I got my draft together, I submitted my draft to Ted, Ted put his spin on it and that is what we got. The Coach Gaither Story,” said Brown.
Now on top of his writing – Barry wants to work towards being a P.E. teacher – and coach. He’s also planning to write a children’s book based off his family.