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Today's Tidbit... Memorial Day Weekend Tribute to Kearie Lee Berry
This is an unbelievable life story.
Berry lettered in football, wrestling, and track at Texas, playing opposite Knute Rockne when the Irish visited Texas in 1913. Out of money, he left school, joined the Army, and served on the Mexican border. Berry later went with the 21st Infantry to Siberia in a little-known exhibition by American troops of the WWI era.
Returning from Russia, he stayed in the Army, but returned to the Texas campus in 1924 to finish his degree, and was named All-Southwest Conference at center as a 31-year-old, the oldest athlete to earn that recognition. He followed that by serving as the player-coach at Ft. Sam Houston and Ft. Bragg, leading the Ft. Bragg team to the President's Cup, the active-duty service national championship game of the 1920s. The picture above shows him with his assistant coaches at Ft. Bragg. The assistant in the letter sweater is a former West Point player named Eisenhower.
Stationed in the Philippines in 1941, Berry earned a Silver Star while defending Corregidor and survived the Bataan Death March at 48-years-old. Later transported on a ghost ship, Berry ended the war at the Hoten POW Camp in Manchuria, where hundreds of Allied prisoners died from biological tests conducted on them by the Japanese.
Berry left active service following the war and served as Adjutant General of the Texas National Guard from 1947 to 1961.
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