Son, brother, husband, father, friend, and soldier, those all words that can be used to describe the man we're honoring.
Julian Berisford, a Marshall County native enlisted in the Army in 2008 and was deployed to Afghanistan shortly after making it through basic training, "He was just somebody that you liked to be around," said Berisford's wife, Gina Berisford.
Julian Lee Berisford, a specialist in the Army who was known for making people feel good and being an all around jokester and ornery teen during his days growing up in Marshall County. He enlisted in the Army after going to West Liberty University and studying Parks and Recreation, he was 24 when he enlisted "My father was in World War II, my brother was in Vietnam. Julian always had it instilled in him," said Berisford's mother, Shelley Guthrie.
It was watching the tragedy of 9/11 unfold which really pushed Julian to defend our nation.It was shortly after he enlisted that he met the love of his life, Gina. He would go onto basic training and the lovers would stay connected through letters, "That's how we fell in love," said the soldier's wife.
Within seven months of meeting, Julian and Gina got married and soon after the couple had their daughter, Mya, "You look at her eyes, that's Julian's eyes," Gina said referring to their daughter.
While his wife and newborn daughter tried to continue on here at home, Julian was stationed in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan keeping in contact with his family through Skype calls. With just a few weeks left on his tour, Julian was excited to get home to see his wife and to celebrate their baby girl's first birthday, but he was compelled to take on one last mission before coming home. Unfortunately, that mission would be the last thing Specialist Julian Berisford would ever do.
His family still doesn't know the exact circumstances surrounding his death and they prefer it that way, "But the details of that mission, we never, I never unsealed everything and I don't think anyone has," Guthrie said about her son's final mission.
It was on November 4, 2009, that Julian was killed in action. Sacrificing seeing his family and friends again, and watching his baby girl grow and take her first steps. When Mya was a baby, they placed something special in her crib, so she always had something of her daddies close, today she says out of all of those things they have that one particular item is still her favorite piece of her daddy, "I don't think it was his, but there's a pillow," said Berisford's daughter, Mya Berisford.
Although Mya doesn't really remember her dad, friends really stepped up to help her feel a connection to him as she grows.
These books have been given to the family. One has tons of pictures of Julian and Mya together when she was a baby and the pictures are accompanied by notes from Julian's friends with a little story about him. The other is a compilation of every article that has been written about him from across the country.
Julian is the recipient of two purple hearts and a bronze star, for heroic measures, as well as a plaque of Valor, "Everybody just wanted to share anything about Julian," Gina said.
This memorial sits at the city building here in Moundsville. Banners will soon go up on the light posts in town with his picture on one side and fellow
You can never say thank you enough to a person who gave it all to protect our freedoms, but the community has really come together.fallen hero Ryan Hammond on the other, in honor of Memorial Day.
I think the biggest compliment is having a child named after him, and that has happened six times, including a little guy who is named after Julian Berisford and Ryan Hammond. A little cousin to both fallen heroes, Julian Ryan Litman, "It's heartwarming to know that his name will be remembered and that he is honored at all times and I think it's something his daughter can be proud in," Shelley Guthrie said.
Proud, brave, accomplished, giving, and heroic, those are all words that we can now use to describe Specialist Julian Berisford.
His family said during the darkest time of their lives all of the support they've received from around the Ohio Valley and the entire country is what helps them.