“The Ballad of the Green Berets” honors the first native Hawaiian who was killed in the Vietnam War. Green Beret James Gabriel, Jr. was on a training mission on April 8, 1982 when he was captured and executed by the Viet Cong.
Staff Sgt Barry Sadler, who fought and was critically wounded in Vietnam, is credited for writing this patriotic song. Surprisingly, this song became a major hit in 1966 during the strong anti-war sentiment at the time.
Below is a wonderful tribute to this song done by the group Letters From Home. You’ll want to take the 2 minutes to watch this. Their voices are angelic and bring a special meaning to the song.
Check out the video and read some of the stirring lyrics below.
“Back at home a young wife waits Her Green Beret has met his fate He has died for those oppressed Leaving her this last request
Put silver wings on my son’s chest Make him one of America’s best He’ll be a man they’ll test one day Have him win the Green Beret”