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Honoring Our Veterans – Greg Berry

greg-berryBy Kelly Alexander

Greg Berry born in East St. Louis, IL in 1960, moved to St. Charles, MO, where he went to school and graduated in 1978.

Berry’s buddy at the time convinced him to checkout Florida and work with him building a boat that he describes as “a 100 foot monstrosity.” Although, it was a lot of fun working with a team of five people and although he was unable to attend the Christening of the vessel, he says, “ We did a pretty good job and in the end, it DID float.”

At 19 years old, he decided it was time to get it together and get serious, so he joined the Army. Having signed up in Jacksonville, he was ironically returned close to home for basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood and from there went to San Antonio,TX, for advanced training, choosing medical training over tanks and missile. He then served at a battalion aid station in Lawton, OK before being sent to Germany as a medic, where he spent the next 2-1/2 years with a mechanized infantry unit in Mainz, working at the hospital in Wiesbaden running the military aid station. It was peacetime for the US, so he was fortunate enough to escape the traumatic impact of war, but says he truly admires the young people serving overseas today. He also holds much respect for elderly. As a medic and a soldier, he has a clear idea of what the “old timers” may have gone through.

Back in the states, again living in St. Charles, MO, he re-enlisted so he could further his medical training and become a Physician’s Assistant or PA, but before that happened, the training program was cut, much to his disappointment.

In total, he served for 10 years from 1979 to 1989 attaining the rank of Sgt. When the Gulf War began, he was called to serve if he chose to, but with young daughters, with wife Teresa, and his time in the military wrapping up, he decided on living the civilian life.

For a time, he pursued his education in nursing, but it was very time consuming for the couple who were by then raising four girls, so he revisited some job opportunities from the past and ended up going to work for Frito-Lay, where he remained employed for the next 19 years.

Berry now works with Guardian Pest Service as not just your friendly, but your very friendly, bug man. As a Certified Chemical Applicator, it is a job he enjoys doing and has a lot of respect for the company’s owner who he convinced to hire him after a voluntary trial basis. “There’s a solid trust with Stan,”  he says. The business is out of St. James where Berry lives with Teresa who teaches in St. James as well.

Guardian Pest Service has also been voted Best Pest Control Service in Phelps County and they are also happy to come to Sullivan. If interested you may call the office in St. James at 573-265-1234.

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