The George Burk of today is the creation of a miracle. To have known him over the years has been a great privilege for my wife and myself. Courage, confidence, patriotism, love for fellowman and life define George. Only a chosen few could have endured his experiences and only a few of those would have retained this man's love of life.
In a few short minutes his robust, athletic body was reduced to a burned and broken mass by an aircraft crash and fire. George, however, remained within the charred body and bid farwell to the others as they crossed over the bridge.
For weeks, in the Burn Center at Ft. Sam Houston, his life balanced on a thin line. A young Army surgeopn and his team worked night and day to keep George alive. Finally, we were advised that he was out of the woods and we could see him. My wife and I drove to San Antonio and were met at the hospital by his surgeon. He prepared us for what we would see; it was not pleasant. The voice and optimism were there---we knew it was George. We heard of the encouragement he gave, to get with it and live, and how much good it was actually doing his fellow patients.
As were were leaving, I asked the surgeon how he could stand up under pressures of working with these patents, day in and day out. He smiled and said, "You have to have a George Burk once in awhile." He was right. We all need George Burk.
As you read George's story, you will admire and respect the internal strength of this man.
Colonel and Mrs. James Neff, USAF (Ret), August 1998.
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