Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lt. Col. Buddy Barr

I'd like to tell you a little about an amazing man I worked with. His name was Buddy Barr and he was an AFJROTC teacher at RHS.

Lt. Col. Barr was a man who cared deeply about his students and even his final moments illustrate this.

If there was a big school event Lt Col Barr and his AFJROTC students were a part of it. From football games to graduation Col Barr always helped it come about without a hitch.

Col. Buddy Barr, our Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) Instructor, passed away on Saturday, December 18th while helping our cadets at the Toys for Tots campaign that morning.

He was not just an instructor. He was a role model and a friend.

When my son shipped off to Iraq, he was the one person I cold speak to about my fears. He was always willing to listen and encourage. During our final conversation we spoke about a student who had both of us a teachers. He was very concerned about her. "We have to reach out to her," he said, "I don't think there are too many other people in her life that are." He was accurate in that assessment.

On our school website Lt. Col Barr writes that his goals are to provide a leadership laboratory for students to develop their skills and skills and confidence, promote individual responsibility and community service. I would say he not only met his goals, he exceeded them.

A native of Alabama, Lt. Col. Barr was a graduate of Anniston High School, the University of Alabama, attended Flight School in Selma and graduated with a Master's Degree from Webster University.

He retired from the United States Air Force after proudly serving his country for 28 years.

Lt. Col. Barr had been a Fighter Pilot during his military career, flying a T37, T38, A-7 and F4G. He served as Commander of the Mission Support Squadron in Aviano, Italy and at the time of his death was the Senior Air Science Instructor for the JROTC Program at Rome High School.

RHS will remember Col. Barr on Thursday, January 13th with a Moment of Silence as well as flying our flag at half-mast as protocol. Our AFJROTC cadets will wear their uniforms this day and will conduct the ceremony that morning at the flag pole. Rome High School is also working with the parents of the AFJROTC Program hoping to create a scholarship for a cadet in the program in honor of Col. Barr.

There aren't enough words, there truly aren't any right words that I could use to describe the loss that we all feel at his passing. I thank God that I had the opportunity to get to know him.

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