From left are, Cpl. F. Lopez, a crew chief, Sgt. Barney Espinoza, an aerial gunner and Cpl. Herbert W. Linson another crew chief. This picture was taken in July 1966 during Operation Hastings at Dong Hoa, Vietnam
In 1965 Barney deployed to Vietnam. His primary duty with the squadron was Operations Chief, but he also flew as an Aerial Gunner on missions earning two Air Medals (strike/flight awards) with HMM-364. After Vietnam Barney continued to serve a total of twenty five years in the Marine Corps and retired in Sept. 1979 as a Master Sergeant.
Barney became an Associate Judge for the city of Cedar Park, Texas and served in this capacity until retiring again in 1993.
Now, we've all heard you can't keep a good man down. Well, Barney decided to commence upon a third career as a movie actor. Here are a few pictures of him taken during 2004 on various locations.
Here Barney, on the right, portrays a mobster in the 2004 production of "ChipotleDiamonds."
Here Barney portrays a detective in the 2004 production of "Cheer Up" and starring, in addition to Barney, Tommy Lee Jones.
Barney plays a 'grizzled old trucker' with his co-star Billy Bob Thornton in the 2004 production of "Friday Night Lights." Barney tells me they didn't have to use much make up to produce the desired results. In fact, Barney tells me it helps to be a bit on the 'ugly' side when it comes to getting parts in movies.
Here Barney plays the part of a Private soldado (soldier) in the Mexican Army that opposed those defending the Alamo in the movie of the same name filmed in 2003.
Group of Mexican soldados with Barney kneeling on the right.
In The Alamo Barney was determined to be so versatile that he played two roles. Here, with his co-star Billy Bob Thornton who only had one role of Davy Crockett, is Barney as "Tejano."
Way to go Barney! We'll keep looking for you on the big silver screen as well as during the Oscar Awards.
Barney provides a bit more of his acting activities:
If you want to know about this Fox today, well, I have been working in movies, six in the past year including five months of work making The Alamo in 2003, with Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Jason Patric, and Patrick Wilson. I was an 1830s citizen in old Bexar (San Antonio today), then I had to train so that I could be a Mexican soldier in the Alamo battle scenes, and in the San Jacinto battle also. It was fun, but hard work, and I could definitely "feel the burn", at 64 I was competing with the college age kids. However, they didn't have the discipline, so when they were puking and passing out due to the 103+ degree TX heat, I'd kick them and remind them that "the old man" was passing them up. They did accuse me of "liking it too much."
Since then I was a detective and worked with Tommy Lee Jones and Ann Archer in Cheer Up, I worked with Billy Bob Thornton again in Friday Night Lights, then I was an FBI agent in The Wendal Baker Story, with the Wilson brothers, and Harry Dean Statton, and I was a mobster in Chipotle Diamonds, and I was a professor in a movie for TV called Jack & Bobby with Christene Lottie. So, ugly must be in because every time I show up they sign me on!
Barney's Civil Engineering Proclamation
The Leaning Tower of Pisa reminds me of a MABS-36 construction
project gone astray because it was commenced right after Happy Hour.
Here is some clarification
to your narrative, you can reword it
I deployed, as part of MABS-36 Field Operations (MOS 7041), with the rest of the MAG aboard the USS Princeton in '65. Later I joined the Purple Foxes and became Ops. Chief when then Ops. Chief, GySgt. Philips was commissioned to 2ndLt. I flew as a gunner and earned two air medals (total accrued including my second tour in 69-70 with HMM-263, as Ops. Chief and gunner was 35 strike/flight awards and 4 Single Mission Air Medals). I retired in Sep '79 at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where I was serving as MAG-24 Ops Chief, with 25 years of service including 4 years reserve time.
I had already earned a degree while on active duty and continued post grad- uate studies after I returned to civilian life. I was hired by Bob Bullock, the Texas State Comptroller (who later became the LtGov. of Texas when George W. Bush was Governor) and became his (BB's) liaison to all the courts in Texas.
About 1987 I was appointed a judge by a small city (Dripping Springs, TX) to help establish a Municipal Court. A year later and more schools, I was appointed a Municipal Judge in the larger city of Cedar Park, Texas. I con- tinued as a judge until 1993 when I decided to return to State government and continue to build on that career which would allow me to retire earlier than if I continued as a judge. In 1998 I was able to retire from State gov- ernment and have not looked back since. I still miss the Corps and that "Band of Brothers", but sorry to say I don't feel the same about the civilians; Go-men-ahsai!
Working in movies is something I
have added to my post career(s) hobbies, and that is the
way I view it, not anything I take very seriously.
I have turned down work because either I didn't
care for the subject matter or it might interfere with some
other project or pending trip. I do enjoy meeting
You hear people in various careers say that their experiences, confidence, and attitude development in the Corps enabled them to tackle other things in life, well I can certainly attest to that; I credit my Marine experience for all that I have taken on in life. I never expected to be a judge, I never expected even to graduate from college, and I never aspired to be an actor and who would ever imagine me in movies? Life takes various twists and turns, but some- times a Marine doesn't shy away from cutting a new path, I have no other explanation.
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