Two Decades Of Service In The Vermont National Guard
Joe Barrett Jr.
Joe Barrett, Jr., was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His father was a mechanical engineer and his mother was a nurse. As a boy, he remembers fishing on the Long Island Sound with his family. In 1971, he joined the Vermont National Guard and trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a Cavalry Scout. He served 21 years in the National Guard, retiring as a Sergeant First Class. Throughout his career, he served in Armor and Cavalry Assignments in the 5th Squadron of the 117th Armored Cavalry, and the 1st Battalion of the 172nd Armored. His most rewarding job was being a Battalion Master Gunner. He enjoyed training with the Guard, and exercises with the Canadian Army. During the interview, he recalls serving his community during a flood in 1972 and an ice storm in 1992. He notes the importance of providing generators to dairy farmers so they could ensure that their herds could be milked even when everyone else had lost power. Finally, he reflects on what his service means to him.