It's hard for Barry Humpherys to realize that it has been 15 years since he graduated from Blackfoot High School.
But the U.S. Marine Corps captain has accomplished a lot since May of 1996.
He joined the Corps shortly after graduation, spending seven years in the Reserve while earning a degree in psychology at Idaho State University. He also served a mission for the LDS Church in San Jose, Calif. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and received a commission. He served a combat tour in Iraq. And, he married Alisa Brown of Sugar City. They have two children — Addyson, 4 and Garrett, 1.
"I joined because it was something I felt I should do," Humpherys said during a recent telephone interview. "I had always wanted to be a fighter pilot."
He let go of that goal eventually, completing tank school as an enlisted man and becoming a communications officer after receiving his commission.
"I got to meet some great people, both my Marines and the Iraqis," Humpherys said of his tour of Iraq in 2009. "And we didn't have anybody hurt. That was good."
He and his team of 10 Marines advised the Iraqi police during their tour.
"Among the positives were seeking a different culture and realizing they have the same wants we have," he said. "Just seeing the progress they've made was good.
"The biggest negative was seeing a country that's been through so much," he added.
Humpherys is now executive officer of B Company Marine Corps Communication Electronics School. He deals with personnel issues for 500-600 Marines who go through the school at Twenty-nine Palms, Calif., in a given year.
He said he plans to make the Marine Corps a career and will be at Twenty-nine Palms another year-and-one-half.
Humpherys said his psychology degree is something he uses every day. "The biggest thing with my degree is that it's good for critical thinking. It has definitely helped me with understanding the fundamentals of human behavior."
A former high school basketball player, he said his roots and his experiences playing for his uncle Gerald have played an important role in his successes.
"I am proud to be from Blackfoot," he said. "It has definitely left its mark on me. Everywhere I go I remember that good wholesome farming community. There's something to be said for the work ethic I learned there."