Wilfred A. Barry

Daily Point of Light # 1333 Mar 15, 1999

When Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Wilfred A. Barry speaks out about the tragic shooting death of his brother, Samuel, he always captivates his audience. He explains the graphic details of how Samuel's body looked in the morgue with half of his face blown away, his body riddled with bullet holes. The room full of people, young or old, are silent as he paints a picture of a scene so grotesque, the listener feels that they were there. What would cause anyone to relive such a horrible experience in front of an audience over and over again? For Barry, it is a personal mission to carry a message against drugs and crime to the youths and citizens of the Virgin Islands.

A member of law enforcement in St. Thomas for 22 years, Barry uses his story about the drive-by shooting in 1990 that killed his brother to make a point about saying "no" to drugs. His affiliation with the justice system and his brother's death give him real and practical examples about smart choices and opportunities that the people of his town can relate to. In the past 10 years, he has participated in panel discussions and served as guest speaker for school graduation ceremonies. His speaking engagements have taken him into public and private schools as well as the University of the Virgin Islands to deliver his message.

In addition to making these speeches, Barry takes time out to mentor youth offenders in Juvenile Court. He brings to these youth the objective of respecting others without resorting to violence and drugs. In March 1998, he addressed two youth groups at his church, Memorial Moravian Church, with a lecture, "Walking With My Neighbor." He also participated in the 1995 Youth Against Violence Symposiums sponsored by federal law enforcement agencies. Barry provided all of these services regularly as a volunteer because he truly believes in what he is saying and feels the need to help others stay on the right path.

On a personal level, Barry has the satisfaction that his words are being heard by ears that may benefit from his wisdom and varied experience. On a community level, people who have listened to his speeches agree that he has contributed significantly to awareness of the dangers of substance abuse and its harmful effects.