Berry Law

Captain Berry (right) receiving his Bronze Star at II Field Force.

Before he founded Berry Law Firm, John Berry Sr. served three tours in Vietnam, where he earned the Bronze Star.

During his service, John transferred from Infantry to the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps and worked as chief defense counsel for Vietnam’s largest general court martial jurisdiction.

John’s role took him throughout Vietnam, protecting the rights of GIs. His journeys included successfully defending members of the 5th Special Forces against murder charges.

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The Buffalo and the Kid

The boys tending a water buffalo on the bank of the Cua Viet River.

The Buffalo and the Kid

In many parts of the world the water buffalo is a highly prized possession. They can provide transportation, substitute for a tractor and even give milk. They are valued and cared for. They were commonly seen in rural Vietnam and in all of Southeast Asia.

One day I was speeding up the Cua Viet River in my boss’s outboard motor boat toward Dong Ha when I saw a young boy in a rice paddy near the north bank. He was shouting ‘laide, laide, come here come here.’ He was desperately trying to get my attention. Meanwhile he was beating a water buffalo with a stick. The Buffalo paid him no mind as she was in the midst of giving birth. 

Ever cautious of the possibility of a Viet Cong trick to lure me close enough to attack me, I hurried on my way to Dong Ha.

I don’t know if the birth was successful, thus giving the family two buffaloes, or whether the boy got some help with his task. I didn’t linger to find out. I just wanted to get away from there as quickly as possible. After all discretion is the better part of valor as they say.