WASHINGTON (Aug. 26)
First Lt. Mark T. Barrett, one of the two American army officers killed by North Koreans in a demilitarized zone last week, was converted to Judaism in May 1974, a month before his marriage to Juliane Reiner of Hollywood, Florida in a Jewish ceremony in Gainesville, Fla. Barrett and his bride met while students at the University of Florida at Gainesville. He was graduated in 1973 and as an ROTC officer was assigned to the Army Training Center at Fort Jackson, near Columbia, S.C.
Shortly after his arrival there he approached Rabbi William A.Greenebaum, the Jewish chaplain at Fort Jackson, and expressed his desire to convert to Judaism. Eleven months later he became a convert after taking instructions from the chaplain. Barrett and his fiance invited Greenebaum to perform the wedding ceremony. Barrett’s immediate family members are Catholics.
Barrett and his wife attended services regularly at the Jewish Chapel in Fort Jackson and were active in its programs, Greenebaum said. “Lieutenant Barrett felt himself very Jewish,” the chaplain said.
Greenebaum conducted what he described as “a completely Jewish service” at Fort Jackson Tuesday. He said the kaddish with Mrs. Barrett. Also participating in the service was Chaplain Mark Manzak, a Catholic priest, who was invited by Greenebaum to join him in the rites.
Greenebaum described Barrett and Maj. Arthur G. Bonifas, the other U.S. officer slain by the North Koreans who was buried at West Point on the same day, as “two precious jewels, young men in their prime who have been taken from us.”