Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The last days of Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler

I knew portions of the story of Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler - "The Ballad of the Green Berets," the manslaughter conviction - but I didn't know how his life ended until The Music's Over shared that part of the story:

In 1983, Sadler moved to Central America to train and supply the Nicaraguan Contras, and later settled in Guatemala City, where he sold weapons and transportation to the military. In 1988, while returning to his mountain ranch house in a taxicab, Sadler was shot through the head in a mysterious robbery or assassination attempt (his son Thor believed drug runners were after his cache of guns). Although he survived, Sadler suffered severe brain damage. He was flown back to Nashville by Soldier of Fortune magazine editor Bob Brown, and though he eventually recovered consciousness and speech, he remained in a hospital bed for the rest of his life. Sadler died of heart failure on November 5, 1989.
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