CATEGORY: Tupelo Stories


Tupelo native joins forces in Bosnia

A Tupelo native who speaks eight languages left Wednesday for a nine-month tour of duty in the Balkans as part of the U.S. involvement in peacekeeping efforts there.

Army Capt. Robert Shirley, 31, who has been stationed for the last eight months in Korea, was in Northeast Mississippi to visit relatives before leaving Wednesday for California. From California, he was scheduled to arrive in Bosnia on Monday.

"I will be acting as a liaison, a counterintelligence officer," said Shirley. "My job is to protect the forces and catch spies."

Shirley said this will be his first visit to the Balkan region of the world, although he learned to speak Croatian as part of his Army training in linguistics.

He said he had heard from some fellow servicemen stationed in Bosnia and said all he knew about the situation there was that, "It's pretty cold and they're getting shot at."

-Marty Russell

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