A Put-in-Bay man will soon head to Iraq. Sgt. Jeffrey Thomas Berry will deploy following a ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday at Heidelberg College in Tiffin.
Berry is a member of the U.S. Army's 19th Special Forces Group based at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus. Although he has served in the army for 12 years, it is his first deployment to Iraq.
His father, Fred Berry of Put-in-Bay, said his son will be deployed for at least a year and maximum of 18 months.
"He told me, 'I'm going to be the best I can be,' and I told him, 'that's the best thing you can do,'" Fred Berry said. "And he's gone beyond that."
Sgt. Berry, 37, joins a long line of family members who have served in the military.
Fred Berry served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
One uncle served in Cambodia before the Vietnam War, and another uncle served during the Korean War.
Fred Berry said he's glad his son joined the military and will serve his country.
"I believe every young man should have the opportunity to do that, because it makes them a better person," he said.
Fred Berry said he will be at Thursday's ceremony and will be a little nervous for his son.
"I want all of our boys to come home, but we know that not all of them will," he said. "We may not agree with everything that's going on, but all I can tell you is men and women are fighting for our cause. I'm very proud of him."