Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

November 12, 2012

'People can't stop thanking you'

Veteran served two tours in Iraq and one in Agfghanistan

TRAVERSE CITY — Veterans Day is one of the most important days of the year for Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Barnby.

At 27, Barnby has served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. For him, Veterans Day represents an opportunity to recognize all of the brave men and women who gave their lives for the United States. What also makes the day so special for Barnby is the positive reaction he gets from the public when they see him in his military uniform.

"One of the best things about Veterans Day is the support we get from the community," Barnby said. "People can't stop thanking you."

Barnby now works for the Army in the military recruitment office at the Cherryland Center on Garfield Road. Originally from Onaway, he joined the military after high school.

"I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after high school," Barnby said. "I figured the Army would give me a couple of years to figure it out."

He went to Iraq in 2005, then returned again in 2007. He spent two and a half years in Germany and served from June 2010 to May 2011 in a remote section of Zabul Province in Afghanistan. He now travels all over northern Michigan, meeting recruits and telling young men and women about the merits of a career in the military.

"Its been the best decision of my life," Barnby said. "Our country's been at war and I've been a part of that. Someone has to step up and fight for our country. I always thought it might as well be me."

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