Army Staff Sgt. Richard A. Burdick

Army Staff Sgt. Richard A. Burdick

Died December 10, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of National City, Calif.; assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed while riding in a convoy Dec. 10 when his vehicle was hit by an improvise explosive device in Mosul, Iraq.
Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Times.
War a family tradition for San Diego-area soldier killed in Iraq
Associated Press

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Going to war has been a tradition for the family of 24-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Richard Burdick. Vietnam was his father’s war. World War II and Korea were wars fought by his grandfather, who died two months ago. World War I was his great-grandfather’s battle. Iraq was Richard Burdick’s war. And on Dec. 10, Burdick was fatally injured when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Mosul, Iraq. Burdick of National City, south of San Diego, is survived by his wife, Jennifer, daughter Angelynn, 6, and son Michael Sean, 4. “He was a quiet professional. He wasn’t a Rambo,” said Burdick’s father, Michael, who lives in Andover, N.Y. “That made me very proud.” Burdick’s father served as a Navy corpsman for 20 years, but his son chose the Army, the service chosen by two older generations of Burdicks. His parents’ divorce and a lack of adult supervision contributed to his being “a little wild in his younger days,” his father said. But, while a student at Palomar, a Chula Vista alternative school, Richard changed his life. He took up poetry and creative writing. School records show he earned 31 class credits in a single year. And he met his future wife at the Chula Vista school. “He squared himself away,” Michael Burdick said. When Richard left National City for Army boot camp, his father remembers, he was “clear-eyed and looking forward to his new life.” He volunteered for paratrooper training and was assigned to the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell, Ky. “I take refuge in the fact that it was what he wanted,” Michael Burdick said. “I just wonder about the futility of war. It’s not like we aren’t a patriotic family,” he added. “But, he’s got two beautiful kids who now don’t have a father.”

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