Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Army Specialist Taylor J. Burk

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Taylor J. Burk, 21, of Amarillo, Texas.

Spc. Burk died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Spc. Burk was born Aug. 26, 1983, and raised in Amarillo. In his youth he developed a great love of sports, playing both soccer and football. Taylor deeply loved his family and as a young man was nurtured by his "Mom," Tracy and mentored by his "Dad," Larry. Wheeler, Taylor's brother, was his best friend and Taylor was truly a "big brother" to his sister Julie. Taylor's youth was filled with both the love of his family and many close friends. He graduated from Randall High School before enlisting in the Army, attending boot camp at Fort Sill, Okla. Taylor trained as a medic at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and was later stationed at Fort Hood prior to his deployment to Baghdad, Iraq.

Last year, Private Taylor Burk, a medic, was riding with a group of Humvees on a nighttime patrol when Iraqi gunmen suddenly raked his vehicle with gunfire. Burk, a rural Amarillo native, was riding in an unprotected Humvee when a tracer bullet ricocheted through his boot and lodged in his foot, family members said.

Another soldier called out to Burk and said he'd been hit. Private Joseph Bridges had been shot in the thigh and suffered severe bleeding. Although wounded himself and under enemy fire, Burk worked quickly saving the soldier's life as the gunfire continued striking Private Bridges again.

Burk insisted to his commander that they take the soldier directly to a surgical hospital in unfamiliar territory. The Humvees rushed through Baghdad streets with their lights off to the medical facility.

Burk's actions were credited with saving his friend's life, and he was awarded the Bronze Star for his valor in combat, the Combat Medic Badge and the Purple Heart.

Taylor returned to Fort Hood for rehabilitation of the wounds he sustained during that conflict. He received a 30-day medical leave and enjoyed quality time with his family and friends. Taylor was a young man with a pure heart and deep spiritual conviction. He was honored to serve this nation and demonstrated courage and valor in his duties. At the time of his death, he was serving his second tour of duty in Baghdad. Taylor was killed while on patrol in a heated area when a homemade bomb detonated.

He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. He will never be forgotten by Company C, 1-8 Calvary for his courage and bravery as a hero in the line of duty.

Army Specialist Taylor J. Burk was killed in action on 01/26/05.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RIP soldier medic