Out of the Valley
Author : Barry Willey, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)
Description : The Vietnam War was a challenging time in our nation’s history and has touched millions of Americans in powerful ways. We lost some of our nation’s most promising young men and women, and others had their lives disrupted and changed forever. Most of us view those losses as tragedies and move on. However, one young man’s death in action in Vietnam did not just stop there. His brief twenty-three years on this earth had an eternal impact on many others and serves as an inspiration to us all. Jonathan Shine’s life was cut short as he courageously led his rifle platoon against an enemy position in October of 1970. But the spiritual impact he has had on many lives has established a legacy that continues to this day. Barry Willey has written a powerful testimony of Jon Shine’s life and legacy. Barry describes the consistent life Jon lived as a West Point cadet and as a U.S. Army officer. The choices Jon made, and the Christ-centered principles by which he lived, are a model for all of us to emulate. Jesus Christ told His disciples as He was preparing to leave them to go to His heavenly Father, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19 NIV). This is also our mission. As disciples of Christ, we need to be about the business of making other disciples for the Lord and His kingdom. Out of the Valley provides some amazing insights into a life well-lived and into the principles of investing spiritually in others. Jon Shine’s investment in Barry’s life, and many others, demonstrates clearly the mission Jesus gave each one of us and provides a model to follow. My prayer is that many will read this wonderful story of a brief but inspirational life lived to exalt Christ and build His kingdom. After you have read it, use it to build into and invest in others for the sake of the high calling of Jesus Christ.
Author Details :
Barry was born in Batesville, Indiana, in July of 1950. He moved with his family to the Indianapolis area when he was four years of age. In 1968, Barry graduated from North Central High School and headed to West Point, New York, attending the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated in 1972 as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the U.S. Army. He married Barb in 1974 and they became the parents of Rachael and Jonathan. He spent much of his military service in infantry units (82nd Airborne Division, 24th Infantry Division, The Ranger Training Brigade, among others). As a paratrooper and Army Ranger, he was privileged to serve with some of the finest service men and women in our country. In 1982, Barry attended Indiana University to earn a Master’s Degree in Journalism and go on to spend about 10 years in the Army as a Public Affairs Officer, helping tell the Army’s great story. His deployments, as both an infantryman and public affairs officer, included combat operations on the Island of Grenada in 1983, combat operations in the Persian Gulf with the U.S. Navy during Operation Earnest Will (1987-88), combat operations during Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991, and stability operations in Haiti in 1994. During his time in Haiti, he was the spokesman for the U.S. military forces, holding more than 100 press conferences and interviews with the world’s media, including many live TV events. After 29 years of active duty, he retired from the Army in 2001 and became a strategic communications consultant with a Washington, D.C.-based firm, Booz Allen Hamilton. Barb and Barry were selected as the field staff representatives for Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF) at West Point in January 2005. Following nearly five years as West Point campus ministers, working with chaplains and leading the OCF club activity, Barry and Barb came back to Northern Virginia and Barry returned to Booz Allen Hamilton. He also has most recently worked with two U.S. Government organizations—The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, and The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, providing public affairs and communication support. Barb was a teacher and a school administrator and is now a real estate agent. She and Barry are the proud grandparents of David Ian and Michael Edward, born to their son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Jamie, who live in Wisconsin where Jonathan is Chief Operations Officer for :betr, a positive-content media platform focused on GenZ and Jamie is a trained youth leader in the United Methodist Church and a substitute teacher in their school system Barb and Barry’s daughter, Rachael, is a former social worker and elementary school teacher, and is now a full-time nanny in St. Petersburg, Florida. Barry is the author of Out of the Valley (OCF 2007), the remarkable story of his mentor and friend, the late Jon Shine, USMA Class of 1969. In October of 2015, Barry published a sequel to Out of the Valley, titled Extreme Investing: Changing the World One Believer at a Time (Creative Team Publishing, San Diego), focusing on the importance of one-on-one mentoring and discipling relationships.



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