Wednesday, January 25, 2012

American Patriot Values

Today’s Patriotic Portrait

Sgt.1st Class John Burris, a native of Huntington Beach, California, is the subject of today’s Patriotic Portrait.

Burris is a Special Forces soldier with two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He spent eight years in various Special Forces assignments including two deployments to Afghanistan.

He earned his Purple Heart in 2007 after being hit by an IED while performing a recon as he rode an ATV. He and another soldier, “rolled up over the top of a hill, and we randomly hit an IED. I landed about 60 feet away.”

Burris said he had wanted to join the Army for as long as he could remember, and when he walked into the recruiter’s office, he had no doubt that it was exactly what he wanted to do. “I told him I wanted to be an 18C (Special Forces engineer.) I wanted to be on the front lines and I did not want to sit behind a desk,” he recalled. “I enlisted in October 2003 as an 18X, (Special Forces candidate) and graduated the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005.”

He is now a Business major at Troy University and is a cadet in the University’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He entered the ROTC program under the Green to Gold Active Duty Option. It allows him to continue to serve on active duty while going to school and participating in ROTC.

He says he is a different person from who he was at the age of 18. “The Army has allowed me to fulfill my goals,” he said. “My experience in the Army also shaped who I was and taught me resiliency (after being injured).

“The Army Values are important as they give every soldier the same set of rules to live by,” he explained. “My favorite is integrity. If you have integrity, you should, by default, automatically fulfill the other six.

Sgt. 1st Class John Burris’ outstanding values are refreshing. He is a great example of a young American Patriot and we appreciate his service to our country.

Be Proud – Be Patriotic – Be American

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