Giving Back

Livingston High School Alum Promoted to Colonel in U.S. Army

8c02c4476691606e3c9e_DSCN0317.JPG
Chris Barra in Baghdad Credits: Chris Barra
c0a016c086ce7465fbd5_Veterans_Day_MHB_1.jpg
Chris Barra Veteran's Day Speech Credits: Chris Barra
9654ac23997d50153632_Lorys_Favorite.jpg
Chris Barra in Mosul, Iraq Credits: Chris Bara
8c02c4476691606e3c9e_DSCN0317.JPG

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Chris Barra, a Livingston High School Class of 1985 alum who is graduating from the United States Army War College on July 24, was recently named Colonel in the U.S. Army. Now living in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Barra has been promoted from Lt. Colonel to full Colonel in the weeks leading up to his Army War College graduation.

Friends from all over the country flocked to Facebook to congratulate Barra on his accomplishments, including the new promotion, his 24th wedding anniversary with his wife, Lory, and for completing his third master’s degree after two years. Following his four-year coeducational federal service academy experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Barra was commissioned to 2nd lt. in 1989 and went on full active duty in Hawaii. According to Barra, there is only a 35 percent chance of promotion from Lt. Col. to higher positions in the U.S. Army. This year, Barra was in the 35 percent.

“Now that it's official, we can all offer sincere congratulations,” Barra’s friend Stan Justice posted on social media. “Our prayers are answered, in that a very deserving, dedicated Patriot has been recognized not only for his brilliance, but for helping make America a better place for all of us to live and raise our children and the flag.”

Sign Up for E-News

Barra’s father immigrated to the United States on the Queen Mary, choosing to raise his family in Livingston. Barra said he knew from a very young age he wanted to join the U.S. Army because he wanted to thank the country for providing him with a successful future that he may not have had otherwise. For many years, Barra’s mother was a teacher at Heritage Middle School, and Barra always felt Livingston’s schooling system was a major factor in his many successes.

“Ultimately the biggest impact was the great education I got there,” said Barra. “I’ve somehow managed to get an undergraduate degree and three graduate degrees without paying for any of them because I got such a great education in high school.”

Following in his mother’s footsteps, Barra also teaches Military History for one quarter each year at UCLA, where he received a master’s degree in Business Administration. Since leaving a career at Goldman Sachs, Barra says the UCLA course is the most rewarding thing he does during his inactive months. 

Barra only actively reengaged with the Army following 9/11, before which he was in the Individual Ready Reserves, where his name was written in case he was needed. Barra said the most impactful and roughest experience he has had during his service was being deployed to Iraq in 2008 and 2009, when he had to leave his family and his then-6-month-old son at home. 

Now, Barra is happy to announce his 24 happy years with Lory as well as the happiness of his son, now seven years old and daughter, who is four. During his future as Col. and an active Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army, Barra hopes to give his two children the same life his father gave to him.

“[My dad] gave us a pretty good life and I figured I owed the country something back,” said Barra. “It seems like a pretty good way to give back and certainly commanding troops in combat has been pretty fulfilling.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Save $2.50 on Next Visit to Livingston Car Wash

July 17, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Drivers can save $2.50 the next time they get their vehicle cleaned at Livingston Car Wash.

Come to Livingston Car Wash at 111 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue for a car wash and $2.50 will be discounted from the regular price.

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fitness
Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2468930b54fcb2172eae_gb_front

Sat, July 21, 12:30 PM

CycleBar Livingston, Livingston

Bike for the Bean

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_d36e8541b1fb2e142ef9_bobbyvalli_par440_3_dates__11x17

Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Man Stabbed in Valley Section of West Orange

July 18, 2018

WEST ORANGE – A West Orange man was stabbed Sunday evening during an attack in The Valley section of the township, according to officials.

Police were called the 300 block of Valley Road around 5:45 p.m. on a report of an aggravated assault. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed during an attack by a group of individuals who later fled the scene, according to township spokeswoman Susan ...

Livingston Town-Wide Campout, Movie Under the Stars Postponed

July 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — ​Due to rain in the forecast, Livingston's Town-Wide Campout and Movie Under the Stars has been rescheduled from July 21 to Saturday, Aug. 18.

Tent setup will begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by games, a campfire, and Disney-Pixar's Coco at dusk!

More information about this annual event, part of Livingston's Youth Appreciation Celebration, can be ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?

 

Enough already.  

 

I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.

 

“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...