KIA January 26, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
SPC Taylor Burk died January 26, 2005 when improvised explosive device (IED) struck his combat vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. He is survived by his father, Tim and stepmother Kimberly; his mother, Tracy and stepfather Larry; and five siblings, Taylor, Julie, Matthew, Heidi, Wheeler, and Heather.
Taylor grew up in a large and sometimes boisterous family of six children in Amarillo, Texas. However, with his upbeat and gentle personality, he became known as the peacemaker, his stepmother said. “When the other kids (his two brothers and three sisters) were contentious, he would say the right thing to break it up,” Kimberly Burk said of her stepson. In his youth he developed a great love of sports, playing both soccer and football. He was thought of as a “teachers dream” by his former principal and “a goofy guy who always made people laugh” by his friend Brett. His stepfather, stated the “Taylor loved his Family and he loved his Family in the U.S. Army.”
Taylor graduated Randall High School in 2002 before enlisting into the Army and training as a combat medic at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. During his deployment to Iraq, Taylor’s unit came under attack by enemy insurgents and he was shot in the ankle. Even after being shot, he disregarded the pain and provided medical aid to a fellow Soldier, SPC Joseph Bridges who was severely wounded. Taylor’s actions saved the life of SPC Bridges and he was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal with Valor, and the Combat Medical Badge. Even after he was told that he earned his right to stay home, his sense of duty led Taylor back to his unit in Iraq. Taylor died less than three months after he returned to combat and shortly before his unit was to return back home. He was posthumously awarded his second Purple Heart and second Bronze Star Medal with Valor.
The Army opened and dedicated the SPC Taylor J. Burk Clinic at the Camp Bullis USA Training Site in San Antonio, Texas on January 13, 2010 in his honor.
SPC Taylor Burk was 21 years old from Amarillo, Texas.
Original portrait was presented on May 16, 2008 to his mother during a special event hosted by the Frisco Amateur Summer Swim Team in Frisco, Texas.
Sponsored for family by:
FASST (Frisco Amateur Summer Swim Team), Frisco, Texas