In , Army Staff Sgt. His fall from that short-lived perch makes the story all the more compelling. Then everything unraveled. Before long, hundreds of thousands in royalty dollars were gone to booze and bad business sense. Less than 15 years after his song hit No. After years of drinking and womanizing, he spent his final years living apart from his family in Central America, where the carousing continued. In September , he was shot in the head in a taxicab in Guatemala City. Who shot him remains unclear. Sadler died the following year, not yet 50 years old. Stars and Stripes: Why did you decide to write a book about Barry Sadler?
He was 49 years old. Sadler, who suffered brain damage and was partly paralyzed in a shooting in Guatemala in , died at the Alvin C. York Medical Center, a hospital spokesman, Albert Archie, said. The cause of death was not given. Archie said an autopsy would be performed. Sadler had been hospitalized since he was critically wounded in what a companion said was a robbery. The companion said at the time that Mr.
The song named Ballad of the Green Berets has become a symbol of the elite unit of the U. The author of the song is a Barry Sadler. He was an enlisted man and a Green Beret. During the Vietnam war, Sadler was a special forces medic where he stepped on a pongee stick and was seriously injured. He was both, author and singer. He also wrote a series of novels called Casca, the Eternal Mercenary which were quite popular. He was a friend of the Soldier of Fortune.
The young Sadler and his mother moved around the U. Southwest before settling in in Leadville , Colorado , where Sadler attended public school, dropping out of high school after completing the 10th grade. Sadler then joined the U. Air Force in June and served for four years, including a year in Japan , where he became proficient in martial arts and where he earned a GED. He received an honorable discharge in June of With few job prospects, Sadler returned to military service, this time joining the U. Army in August After completing airborne training, he volunteered for Special Forces , choosing to be a medic. Sadler served in Vietnam from late December to late May , when he was medically evacuated to the Philippines for treatment for an infected punji stake wound. The medics also treated their own team members who had been injured or wounded and led Montagnards into the field on combat and reconnaissance patrols and ambushes.