A local soldier is staying informed on his hometown from deployment abroad.
Chris Berry, captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, has been in constant contact with his family, sending several pictures and updates on a monthly basis. His parents, Jim and Mary, are likewise keeping him updated on Jamestown happenings.
According to Jim, Chris has been a Jamestown resident since 1995 when the family moved here. He first attended Persell Middle School in fifth grade and graduated from Jamestown High School in 2002. He then attended Miami University in Ohio and was enrolled in Marine Corps Officer Candidates School from his sophomore to his senior year. He became a commissioned Marine Corps officer upon his graduation in 2006.
Chris Berry, captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, stays in touch with his parents in Jamestown, Jim and Mary, as much as possible.
"Chris is an intelligence officer," said Jim. "That's his specialty and he has a very high security clearance. He was deployed to Afghanistan as part of an elite 13-man unit to be trainers of a brigade of Afghan National Civil Order Police, which is basically like the SWAT Team of the Afghan police force."
Jim and Mary have consistently received reports from Chris since his deployment in March.
"We hear from him about every three weeks to a month", said Jim. "That's because (his unit is) not at a U.S. military base, they're out there on the front lines where the action is. Once a month they do get into Camp Leatherneck, which is the main Marine Corps base of operations in Afghanistan."
Chris' current tour overseas is scheduled to be a one-year term, of which he has completed seven months. He was recently on a two-week rest and relaxation period before being remobilized within the last few days and therefore unavailable for comment.
Like any military family, Chris' parents worry for his safety but Jim says that there are a few things in which they can take comfort.
"We're obviously concerned about his safety and my wife is especially fearful for the danger he's sometimes in," he said. "We do feel a little better about it because Chris is 28, been in (the military) for six years, been well-trained and has been deployed overseas before. He's older, more mature and an officer and leader of Marines. We feel more secure just because of the training that he's had and we're very proud of him."