Garney Burleson : “Remember Fallen Heroes: A Farm Boy’s Tribute”

By | May 26, 2024



Accident – Death – Obituary News : : 1. Memorial Day tribute
2. Fallen soldiers memorial

As a combat veteran, I often feel a bit awkward when someone wishes me “Happy Memorial Day.” This misplaced gratitude comes from a misunderstanding of what Memorial Day is truly about. Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor our fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. It’s a time for somber reflection, not celebration. Take a moment to visit the Wall of Faces, where you can see photos and memorials of those who died in Vietnam. Reflect on their sacrifice and remember the lives they could have lived. Let’s honor their memory this Memorial Day.

1. Honor the Heroes this Memorial Day
2. Reflect on the Sacrifice like a True Patriot

The Story of Garney Burleson: A Forgotten Hero

As a combat veteran, Memorial Day holds a special place in my heart. It’s a day to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. One such hero is Garney Burleson, a farm boy from North Carolina who lost his life in the jungles of Vietnam.

Garney’s Last Stand

Garney was just 20 years old when he was killed in action on January 28, 1971, in Binh Tuy Province, Vietnam. A member of the elite aero-rifle platoon of B Troop, 1/9 Cavalry, Garney was a true hero in every sense of the word. Despite his young age, he displayed remarkable courage and resilience in the face of danger.

During one intense firefight, Garney found himself under heavy enemy fire, with bullets whizzing past him. But instead of panicking, he kept his cool and continued to return fire, protecting his fellow soldiers with unwavering determination.

A Lonely Tribute

After Garney’s tragic death, his platoon leader, known as “Blue”, made a solemn pilgrimage to visit his fallen comrade’s gravesite. However, what he found there was truly heartbreaking. Garney’s grave, located in the cemetery of a small country church outside of Asheville, N.C., was neglected and uncared for.


Despite the sacrifices Garney had made for his country, there was no memorial service held in his honor, no flags placed on his grave to signify his service. Blue, deeply moved by this oversight, took it upon himself to pay tribute to his fallen brother in arms.

A Lasting Tribute

Blue went to a nearby store, purchased a small American flag and some flowers, and placed them on Garney’s grave. In a touching gesture, he wrote a heartfelt note to Garney, expressing his gratitude and ensuring that his sacrifice would never be forgotten.

As we commemorate Memorial Day this year, let us remember heroes like Garney Burleson, who gave their lives in service to our nation. Their bravery and selflessness should never be forgotten, and it is our duty to honour their memory and pay tribute to their sacrifice.

About the Author

John A. Lucas is a retired attorney and a former Army Ranger who served in Vietnam. He now resides in Virginia with his family, reflecting on his own experiences and the sacrifices of his fellow soldiers. John’s dedication to honouring the memory of fallen heroes like Garney Burleson serves as a reminder of the true cost of freedom.

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