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Despite Wound, Medic Fought To Return To Iraq (a moving and poignant must read article "RIP")
Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | January 29, 2005 | Ken Dilanian

Posted on 01/29/2005 3:37:54 PM PST by Former Military Chick

BAGHDAD - Taylor Burk's friends here in Iraq told him over and over: Don't come back. You've bled enough for your country. You've got nothing to prove.

But the 21-year-old medic from Amarillo, Texas, couldn't stand to be away from his brothers in arms. So, even though the gunshot wound he sustained while saving another soldier's life made walking painful sometimes, he pushed to leave Fort Hood in Texas and return to his unit. And when he got back to Iraq, he finagled his way out of a headquarters job and into a frontline company.

Spec. Burk died Wednesday after a powerful roadside bomb exploded next to the armored humvee he was driving in southwest Baghdad.

Soldiers were told that a small piece of shrapnel ripped into him under the collarbone, severing major blood vessels. Two other soldiers were wounded - one hit in the head by shrapnel, the other suffering a broken arm. They had been on the way back to base from a routine patrol.

Happening as it did on the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Iraq - a day when a helicopter crash killed 30 Marines and one sailor - Burk's death merited barely a mention in news reports. But for the soldiers of his battalion, it was shattering. Several - hard men, men trained not to let their emotions get in the way of their jobs - cried when they heard.

"We've got people who made it their mission not to leave this" base, said Burk's squad leader, Sgt. Andrew Wintz, 40, a native of Brooklyn. "We've got people who went home on leave and never came back. He took a bullet and he came back."

Wintz added: "I want people to know that he was proud of what he did. He was proud of being a combat medic."

He was good at it, too. On April 4, during one of his first missions in Baghdad with Charlie Company, First Battalion, Eighth Cavalry Regiment, which is part of the First Cavalry Division, a soldier in his humvee, Pvt. Joseph Bridges, was shot in the face and thigh during a five-hour firefight against more than 100 insurgents.

The thigh wound was life-threatening because it hit an artery. Burk began to tie a tourniquet around it when he was hit by a rifle round that took a chunk out of his heel.

He kept treating his patient all the way to the combat hospital.

Bridges made it, and is now in the United States.

Burk also was sent home to recover. For his actions that night, he was awarded a Bronze Star; for his wound, he received a Purple Heart. When he was well enough to work, he was sent to his unit's base at Fort Hood, where he was given a rear detachment job.

He spent a lot of time chatting online with his buddies in Iraq. Almost immediately, he began pushing to get back to Baghdad.

"He said, 'Hey, I didn't join the Army to cut grass,' " Wintz said. " 'I joined the Army to be a combat medic.' "

When he returned to Iraq, he was given a job at battalion headquarters, a job that didn't require him to leave the base often. That didn't suit him.

When a medic was wounded from Alpha Company, he begged to take that spot. He knew it would mean near-daily patrols into Baghdad's Doura district, where roadside bombs and gunshot attacks are routine.

"I would tell him all the time, you're a better man than me," said his roommate, Spec. Lamart Brown, 21, of Goldsboro, N.C.

Indeed, most of his fellow soldiers disagreed with his decision to come back. But they were glad to have him around.

"When he came into the room, even if he was in a bad mood, he'd have you laughing and joking around," said a close friend, Pvt. Kirk Kelley, 24, of Nacogdoches, Texas.

Burk was a little nervous in his first few missions after returning, but he settled quickly into the routine, soldiers said. He didn't have occasion to treat another wounded American, but he treated plenty of Iraqis, they added. Army field medics in Iraq are constantly beseeched by ailing civilians who can't find help in Iraq's decrepit health-care system.

Like many soldiers, he wasn't sure whether the American mission in Iraq was succeeding, friends said. What he knew was that he wanted to be there to help his comrades.

He was driving the third in a three-vehicle convoy when the bomb, a 155mm artillery shell, exploded. Soldiers were told it was unclear how the shell was detonated. The convoy was carrying a device designed to jam radio-detonated bombs, but the machines are not foolproof. Neither is the armor on even the most heavily armored humvees, as Burk's was.

Two nights before he died, he was sitting with a group of medics who were planning a post-deployment adventure. The unit is scheduled to leave Iraq in a month.

"He was talking about how he'd never been hunting, and we were talking about doing that when we got back," said Sgt. Bryan Hayes, 32, of Haughton, La.

Hayes shook his head, eyes downcast.

"There's so much you could say about him. He was a great guy."


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: fallen; honor; iraq; medic; soldiers; taylorburk
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I salute you Spec. Burk, thank you for your service to our country and I will pray for those you left behind!
open to full screen

TAPS

Listen to TAPS

Day is done, gone the sun, From the hills, from the lake, From the skies. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep, May the soldier or sailor, God keep. On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go, When the day, And the night Need thee so? All is well. Speedeth all To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar Goeth day, And the stars Shineth bright, Fare thee well; Day has gone, Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days, 'Neath the sun, Neath the stars, 'Neath the sky, As we go, This we know, God is nigh.

Note: there are no "official" words to Taps below are the most popular.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1 posted on 01/29/2005 3:37:55 PM PST by Former Military Chick
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To: Chieftain; Ragtime Cowgirl; gatorbait; GreyFriar; americanmother; The Mayor; Titan Magroyne; ...

All that should be said is **PING**!!


2 posted on 01/29/2005 3:39:24 PM PST by Former Military Chick (For News All Military check out: http://earlybirdnews.blogspot.com/2004/12/todays-early-bird-news.ht)
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To: Former Military Chick

I've heard from other men returning from service in Iraq that they want to go back because of the amazing progress they have made over there, and that they want to see it through to the completion of why they were there in the first place, God bless their brave and dedicated souls.


3 posted on 01/29/2005 3:41:45 PM PST by Paperdoll
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To: Former Military Chick

You won't hear about this guy though. That's what makes me so mad. Instead you'll hear about the traitors and desserters.

It's sick and disgusting the way this war is being distorted by the media.


4 posted on 01/29/2005 3:42:59 PM PST by Trippin
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To: Trippin

I understand your anger. But, I offer a challange and I will accept it as well, copy and past this article to your local papers. To your local news channels and who ever else you can thing of.

We can make a difference. If we let them know what we want to hear well maybe JUST maybe we can make a small step with the MSM!

I live in the greater KC area (Ft Leavenworth) and will contact our local media.


5 posted on 01/29/2005 3:46:53 PM PST by Former Military Chick (For News All Military check out: http://earlybirdnews.blogspot.com/2004/12/todays-early-bird-news.ht)
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To: Former Military Chick

Salute to Spec. Taylor Burk. A man, a soldier, a hero.

6 posted on 01/29/2005 3:48:06 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: Former Military Chick

Such a shame that our MSM won't pick up on these heroic stories from the front and always seem to focus on the negative. My heart and prayers go out to all those who mourn his loss. A true American hero.


7 posted on 01/29/2005 3:49:10 PM PST by taxesareforever
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To: DTogo
Salute to Spec. Taylor Burk. A man, a soldier, a hero

And a saint.

8 posted on 01/29/2005 3:53:23 PM PST by syriacus (MarthaStewart Noonan: When dealing with terrorism, IT'S A GOOD THING to have trash can lids on hand.)
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To: Former Military Chick

"Brothers in Arms" props and prayers.


http://grunt.space.swri.edu/audio/brothers.mid



9 posted on 01/29/2005 3:53:55 PM PST by dennisw (Pryce-Jones: Arab culture is steeped in conspiracy theories, half truths, and nursery rhyme politics)
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To: Former Military Chick

Combat Medic BTTT


10 posted on 01/29/2005 3:58:14 PM PST by JDoutrider
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To: Trippin
It's sick and disgusting the way this war is being distorted by the media.

The most horrendous aspect of the war less Ed Kennedy.

11 posted on 01/29/2005 4:01:33 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: DTogo

Saluting a fallen soldier, and a hero. America will always win, when we have men like these. And only 21 years old....I shake my head in wonder at his courage.

http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/ItisPeke/VDay.html


12 posted on 01/29/2005 4:13:39 PM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: Former Military Chick

More proof that angels walk among us from time to time.

A loss for us, a gain for Heaven.


13 posted on 01/29/2005 4:50:34 PM PST by Imal (Saluting SPC Taylor Burk, a genuine hero and true American. d. 1/26/2005)
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To: Former Military Chick

PRAYERS OF COMFORT FOR SPEC BURK'S FAMILY AND FELLOW UNITS DEFENDERS OF FREEDOM.
GODSPEED!


14 posted on 01/29/2005 4:58:52 PM PST by alpha-8-25-02 (SAVED BY GRACE AND GRACE ALONE!)
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To: MEG33; ducks1944; Ragtime Cowgirl; Alamo-Girl; TrueBeliever9; anniegetyourgun; maestro; TEXOKIE; ...
Taylor Burk's friends here in Iraq told him over and over: Don't come back. You've bled enough for your country. You've got nothing to prove.

But the 21-year-old medic from Amarillo, Texas, couldn't stand to be away from his brothers in arms. So, even though the gunshot wound he sustained while saving another soldier's life made walking painful sometimes, he pushed to leave Fort Hood in Texas and return to his unit. And when he got back to Iraq, he finagled his way out of a headquarters job and into a frontline company.

Spec. Burk died Wednesday after a powerful roadside bomb exploded next to the armored humvee he was driving in southwest Baghdad.


15 posted on 01/29/2005 7:03:55 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

RIP Spc Burk

16 posted on 01/29/2005 7:13:38 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! ~ www.proudpatriots.org)
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To: Former Military Chick

bttt


17 posted on 01/29/2005 7:17:21 PM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Trippin

His story is one that Mel Gibson should make into a commemorative movie to his life - and that of all the brave men and women who went to Iraq.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, hold him in the hollow of your hand.

I'm sure his family, while devastated by his sacrifice, are proud to know that this young man died in the service of others.


18 posted on 01/29/2005 7:20:15 PM PST by Happygal (liberalism - a narrow tribal outlook largely founded on class prejudice)
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To: Calpernia; risk; Lexington Green

.

"American Soldiers...
Fighting for the...
Freedom of others,
Those that train them...
In their Freedom mission and...
Those loved ones who wait...
For them to...
Come home...
Or not...
Are...


......H-O-L-Y..!!!"



Signed:.."ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer
Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965, Landing Zone Falcon

http://www.WeWereSoldiers.com
http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_set1.htm



"What American Soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is...

...S-A-C-R-E-D..!!!"



...states "WE WERE SOLDIERS" Producer/Director/ScreenWriter RANDALL WALLACE


NEVER FORGET

.


19 posted on 01/29/2005 7:21:11 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: Kathy in Alaska

bump


20 posted on 01/29/2005 7:21:30 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE

bump


21 posted on 01/29/2005 7:21:59 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Former Military Chick

So very sad but he did not die in vain, nor will his bravery be forgotten. Iraq's election is in progress right this minute. Let Freedom Ring!


22 posted on 01/29/2005 8:19:37 PM PST by MontanaBeth (NEVER FORGET)
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To: neverdem; McGavin999; BillF; wagglebee; conshack; blondee123; Happy2BMe; JulieRNR21; ...

HERO **PING**


23 posted on 01/29/2005 8:33:10 PM PST by Former Military Chick (For News All Military check out: http://earlybirdnews.blogspot.com/2004/12/todays-early-bird-news.ht)
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To: Former Military Chick; neverdem; McGavin999; BillF; wagglebee; conshack; blondee123; Happy2BMe; ...
Ben Stein's Last Column

24 posted on 01/29/2005 8:35:47 PM PST by Happy2BMe ("Islam fears democracy worse than anything If the imams can't control it - they will kill it.)
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To: Former Military Chick

My heart goes out to this man's family and they need to know that his patriotism will not go unrecognized.


25 posted on 01/29/2005 8:37:05 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Former Military Chick

Wow. Specialist Burk's story exemplifies the American soldier: cheerful, competent, and self-sacrificing in the performance of his duty.


26 posted on 01/29/2005 8:37:08 PM PST by mark502inf
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To: Former Military Chick; B4Ranch; TexasCowboy; Squantos; Conspiracy Guy; PhilDragoo; Smartass; FBD; ..
SEVERAL HARD MEN CRIED - ping.

===================================================

Happening as it did on the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Iraq - a day when a helicopter crash killed 30 Marines and one sailor - Burk's death merited barely a mention in news reports.

But for the soldiers of his battalion, it was shattering.

Several - hard men, men trained not to let their emotions get in the way of their jobs - cried when they heard.

* * * *

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

27 posted on 01/29/2005 8:42:59 PM PST by Happy2BMe ("Islam fears democracy worse than anything If the imams can't control it - they will kill it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska; Calpernia; Former Military Chick

Words To Taps




Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.
Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.
 




28 posted on 01/29/2005 8:49:14 PM PST by Happy2BMe ("Islam fears democracy worse than anything If the imams can't control it - they will kill it.)
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To: Happy2BMe

Thank you for the **ping** I will make sure he gets the link and reads all these most wonderful, thoughtful and respectful comments, he does cherish his fans and is a true patriot!


29 posted on 01/29/2005 8:50:27 PM PST by Former Military Chick (For News All Military check out: http://earlybirdnews.blogspot.com/2004/12/todays-early-bird-news.ht)
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To: Happy2BMe

Thank you for adding the words again, we must never forget -- you can listen to the music at comment 1, click on TAPS!


30 posted on 01/29/2005 8:55:11 PM PST by Former Military Chick (For News All Military check out: http://earlybirdnews.blogspot.com/2004/12/todays-early-bird-news.ht)
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To: Former Military Chick
* * *

* * *

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

__________________

IT'S THE SOLDIER


It's the soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the
PRESS.

It's the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of
SPEECH.

It's the soldier, not the campus
ORGANIZER,
Who has given us the freedom to
DEMONSTRATE

It's the soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a
FAIR TRIAL.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag,
Serves under the flag
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protester the right to burn the flag.


-Father D. E. O'Brien

 

We Must NEVER Forget!

Iraqi Coalition Casualty Report

* * * * *

Because of Their Sacrifices, These People's Lives Will Never Be The Same.

31 posted on 01/29/2005 9:00:01 PM PST by Happy2BMe ("Islam fears democracy worse than anything If the imams can't control it - they will kill it.)
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To: Calpernia

Thank God for this hero and his loved ones!


32 posted on 01/29/2005 10:42:33 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: ALOHA RONNIE; B4Ranch
What American Soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is...S-A-C-R-E-D..!!!

I have to agree with you, Ronnie.

33 posted on 01/30/2005 1:48:32 AM PST by risk
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To: Former Military Chick

Gratitude to his parents for raising such a determined young man, sorrow with them at the loss. :-(

Go in peace, Spec. Burk. Thank you.


34 posted on 01/30/2005 5:32:16 AM PST by Titan Magroyne (Cha! I am so not an aggressive driver! Call me pro-active.)
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To: Calpernia

Prayers for Spec. Taylor Burk and his friends and family.


35 posted on 01/30/2005 11:20:35 AM PST by windchime (Hillary: "I've always been a preying person")
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To: Former Military Chick

I will always remember Taylor Burk as my own personal hero. I am a sister of the Army soldier that he saved last year in Iraq in April 2004.

After my brother (the gunner) was wounded in the leg (severed a main artery) and face, Burk insisted he be taken to the cash. The Lt wanted him taken elsewhere. Burk told the LT that he was going to take my brother to the cash or he would die. His decision is what ultimately saved my brother's life. He kept my brother alive until he got to the cash where my brother died on the table. They were able to bring him back.

He had to take my brother back through enemy territory under heavy gunfire to get him to the cash. All the while he was shot and told no one about it.

So as you can see, this young man did more than just "his job". He laid his life on the line and, I assume, his career to save my brother.

His funeral is today (in less than 30 minutes). My brother will be speaking about Burk and pinning the medals on his uniform.

I thank God that I had the chance to meet this brave man, hug him, thank him and tell him how much he meant to me and my entire family.

I was looking forward to making a trip out to Texas next month to welcome him home.

We will forever remember Taylor. He is what a real hero looks like.

May you rest in peace Taylor. I look forward to hugging you again one day. You are my hero!


36 posted on 02/03/2005 11:27:33 AM PST by SoldiersSister
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To: Former Military Chick

I think that is an excellent idea! I will start emailing my local media outlets today!

I am also going to start a blood drive in his name. I think since he was a medic he would appreciate that. I have several online friends in other states that are going to try to coordinate one in their area. I can keep y'all posted on that if you'd be interested in helping in your area or even just donating blood in his name.


37 posted on 02/03/2005 11:37:07 AM PST by SoldiersSister
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To: SoldiersSister

Excellent ideas, keep me informed.


38 posted on 02/03/2005 12:22:10 PM PST by Former Military Chick (For News All Military check out: http://earlybirdnews.blogspot.com/2004/12/todays-early-bird-news.ht)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: WizDumb; Paperdoll; Trippin; DTogo; taxesareforever; syriacus; JDoutrider; EGPWS; Imal; ...
Important **PING**

First I wanted to say that it was nice to see all the wonderful remarks regarding Spec. Burk. I have entertained the idea and actually have seen a few replies from families that read of a fallen hero and send either a public or private note thanking us for our tribute to our finest. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Please check out comment 39. It is amazing to read the remarks of those who loved Spec. Burk, it gives us a glimpse of who this young man was to his family. I thank his dad for sharing his words and hope he will post some photos of Spec. Burk and his family.

40 posted on 02/23/2005 7:22:01 PM PST by Former Military Chick
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To: WizDumb
Our eternal gratitude sir, to you, your family, and most of all to your beloved son Taylor.

In a very real way, he was the son of us all . .

* * *

* * *

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

__________________

IT'S THE SOLDIER


It's the soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the
PRESS.

It's the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of
SPEECH.

It's the soldier, not the campus
ORGANIZER,
Who has given us the freedom to
DEMONSTRATE

It's the soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a
FAIR TRIAL.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag,
Serves under the flag
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protester the right to burn the flag.


-Father D. E. O'Brien

 

We Must NEVER Forget!

Iraqi Coalition Casualty Report

* * * * *

Because of Their Sacrifices, These People's Lives Will Never Be The Same.

41 posted on 02/23/2005 7:28:52 PM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.)
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To: Former Military Chick; WizDumb
The pictures from IRAQ that you won't see in the NEWS.

42 posted on 02/23/2005 7:31:14 PM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.)
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To: Former Military Chick

Thanks for the ping!


43 posted on 02/23/2005 8:02:49 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DTogo

So young, but what a big heart. He is what make true Americans proud to be Americans.


44 posted on 02/23/2005 10:06:14 PM PST by taxesareforever
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To: Former Military Chick
"Please check out comment 39. It is amazing to read the remarks of those who loved Spec. Burk, it gives us a glimpse of who this young man was to his family. I thank his dad for sharing his words and hope he will post some photos of Spec. Burk and his family"

"Comment #39 Removed by Moderator"

?????????

45 posted on 02/23/2005 10:36:33 PM PST by Rabble (Fonda & Kerry -- Hanoi's Stooges and America's Traitors.......)
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To: Former Military Chick

Thanks for the ping, Former Military Chick!


46 posted on 02/24/2005 5:04:51 AM PST by windchime (Hillary: "I've always been a preying person")
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To: Rabble

I am clueless on that one as well.


47 posted on 02/24/2005 8:42:36 AM PST by Former Military Chick
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To: Former Military Chick

I have set up two blood drives in honor of Taylor Burk.

The first one is Wednesday March 16th and the next one will be Thursday March 17th.

I have been talking to my brother, Joe about this and he is so thrilled to know that Burk is being honored by many who will never know him.

My brother is recovering (thanks to Burk) but the painful loss of his friend has been very difficult for him.

He met Burks family at the funeral and spent some time with them. They treated him like a son and he was deeply touched by their kindness.

What a wonderful man and soldier this was. He is greatly missed!


48 posted on 03/07/2005 10:53:16 AM PST by SoldiersSister
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To: Rabble

It was removed because the mod's felt that perhaps they did not realize how much info they gave on the thread and were trying to protect their privacy.


49 posted on 03/07/2005 3:29:26 PM PST by Former Military Chick
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To: SoldiersSister; WizDumb; Jim Robinson; Rabble; windchime; taxesareforever; DTogo; Titan Magroyne; ..
***PING***

SoldiersSister, I just wanted to share with other Freeper's your Blood Drive in the name of Taylor Burk. What a wonderful idea. I also appreciate the other comments on this thread as it pertains to your brother and his friendship with Taylor. It does humanize one of our finest.

I hope many turn out and let us know afterwards. Perhaps those I ping can forward this to their ping list and address book letting folks know of the blood drive.

If you like to read other posts by SoldiersSister please do a search or read the entire thread.

God Bless you and your brother Joe and thank him for his service and I hope he recovers quickly.


50 posted on 03/07/2005 3:50:25 PM PST by Former Military Chick
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