Army 2LT Peter H. Burks
KIA November 14, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany
Army 2LT Peter Burks died November 14, 2007, of wounds sustained when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device just outside of the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. 2LT Burks was deployed to Iraq approximately three months before he was killed.
Peter, known as ‘Pete’, is remembered as a serious minded man, but side-splittingly funny. He was also cultured and knowledgeable of the world and its history. He read 900 page Russian history books just for fun. Pete was a leader, teammate, and was involved in community service and ministry. He loved people, especially those in need. Pete moved with his family to the Dallas area in 1987 and graduated from Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas, and later from Texas A&M University. He worked in marketing the Dallas Desperados and FC Dallas. In 2006, Pete joined the Army and went to Officer Candidate School. “He felt the call to serve,” Pete’s father, Alan Burks, said of his son, “He’d tried corporate life and he just said, ‘I have to go do this Dad. This is what I’ve got to do.’”
Alan Burks said that he wasn’t surprised that his son’s last actions involved checking on the five men with him. “He told me, over and over again, he said: ‘Dad, my job is to get my 17 guys home safe… Then after that I’ll get myself home safe,’” Alan recalled. Shortly before he was killed, Pete sent his family and friends a list of the treats his guys missed the most; the things that 20-30 year olds miss from home. He also included some items that would be helpful for the local Iraqis. 2LT Burks was a warrior, but his heart was his strongest weapon. He knew that making friends and helping those in need, most especially the Iraqi children, could do more to solve our world’s problems than simply a war. Besides his father, 2LT Burks is survived by his mother, Jackie Merck; fiancée; three sisters; brother; grandmother and grandfather.
2LT Peter Burks was 26 years old from Plano, Texas
Original portrait was presented February 16, 2009, to his mother, Jackie, along with a fine art canvas reproduction for his father, Alan, during a special memorial event held in Arlington, Texas
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