The Alpha Industries Hero Series
Lieutenant Harvey “Barney” Barnum
Alpha Industries was founded in the 1950s with the mission of outfitting and protecting the heroes who served our country. That mission has evolved to present day, as Alpha is committed to recognizing heroism in all forms, both military and civilian. Today we introduce the Alpha Industries Hero Series, a selections of videos that will tell the story of heroes in not only military, but also the worlds of fashion, art, music, and entertainment. We will examine what defines heroism and holds true across all forms- taking risks and rising to the occasion.
On the 18th of December 1965 Harvey “Barney” Barnum Jr, a young Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, was serving with his company as rear element security. They were traveling down Vietnam’s Que Son Mountains when the entire battalion was ambushed. Lt. Barnum took cover as one by one his fellow Marines and their commanding officers dropped at the cracking of gunfire. Barney saw the men of his company around him, chaotic, disheveled but still fighting with everything they had. This is when he noticed the only radio, their only hope for reinforcement and survival, lay out in the midst of open fire. Knowing that reaching the COM was their best chance to defeat the ambush the young Lieutenant charged into the ricocheting fire to retrieve it. Once radioing in, Barney was able to organize his and the companies around him. Communication between other Marines became crucial and the men, led by Barney, were able to strategize a plan to weaken the enemy’s right flank.
What makes Barney’s story of heroism so special is that he acted not out of selfishness but out of inspiration from his heroes, his fellow Marines. It was there in the throes of battle that Barnum says he “learned what the Marine Corps is about, what Marines are about, and what Marines can accomplish when they put their minds to it”. Barney is just the first story in our Hero Series. We will look at individuals who are examples of hard work and risk-taking in order to achieve what may seem impossible. Alpha is proud to share stories of heroism from people of many backgrounds.
We know it takes exceptional people to be heroic; when Barney speaks about his fellow Marines he notes, “if they hadn’t done what they did, we might not have been successful” and that rings true to all kinds of heroes out there.