Bryan Burgess


In Honor of Bryan Burgess

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Bryan Burgess was assigned to No Slack 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. On March 29, 2011 at age 29, Burgess was killed in Kunar Province, Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Bryan was 19 and just out of high school when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. These events changed Bryan’s life: he enlisted in the National Guard. He didn’t discuss it with anyone, he was single-minded about it and just did it. His parents were stunned.

He trained at Fort Benning, Georgia and transformed into a soldier. His father remembers not being able to find him in a group of soldiers, “He looked different—chiseled, he became who he needed to be.”

In May 2004, Bryan met his future wife Tiffany in Washington. Bryan was assigned to the Stryker Brigade out of Fort Lewis, Washington.  He was posted in Germany and served two tours in Iraq.  While in Germany, Tiffany and Bryan had a daughter, and then a son. Bryan had developed naturally into a talented soldier, and now he discovered that he was also a natural family man. He loved his kids and reveled in being a dad.

Bryan had made the Army his career.  The family returned to the U.S., and Bryan was stationed at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and assigned to the legendary 101st Airborne, one of the most decorated divisions in the U.S. Army.

In March of 2011, Bryan was part of “Operation Strong Eagle III,” a mission utilizing elite troops to infiltrate a Taliban stronghold deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys. They were sent in to apprehend Qari Ziaur Rahman, second in command under Osama Bin Laden.

It was a battalion-sized operation planned as a single-day strike, but turned into nine intense days of harrowing combat against an invisible, hostile enemy in the country’s most complex terrain, where no foreign troops have ever dared to go before. There, the Taliban ambushed Bryan’s platoon. Bryan was severely injured by a sniper in a tree. However, he kept fighting. He saved the lives of several of his men by getting them away from the hostile fire. But, due to the intensity of the battle, the MEDEVAC’s could not get to him quickly enough, and Bryan died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Burgess is survived by his wife, Tiffany, daughter, and son. His father, Terry and stepmother, Elisabeth; his mother Linda and stepfather Randy; and sister, Brandi also survive him.

Bryan Burgess’ awards and decorations include: Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Bronze Star of Valor, Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon and Combat Infantryman Badge.


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