Rep. Kelly Salutes New Castle Veteran on House Floor

Dec 7, 2017 Issues: Veterans

USMC Major Eric Burkett lost leg during service in Morocco

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) paid tribute to a local disabled veteran – U.S. Marine Corps Major Eric Burkett of New Castle – on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday morning. After detailing Major Burkett’s service, the congressman recited a poem written by Albert Carey Caswell in his honor and submitted it into the congressional record. An official copy of the floor statement and poem is scheduled to be delivered to Major Burkett.

Text of Rep. Kelly’s floor statement:

“I rise today in honor of one of my constituents, United States Marine Major Eric Burkett from New Castle, Pennsylvania. He was deployed as a member of the 24th Expeditionary Force in Morocco as an Osprey pilot.

“On April 11th, 2012, he was nearly killed in a plane crash, which took the lives of two of his brothers-in-arms. After coming home to Walter Reed, he lost one of his legs and continues to recover from his numerous injuries to this day.

“His wife Melissa, who also is a former Marine, has been by his side from Day One, along with their loving six children.

“Major Burkett may never fly again, but already with his recovery he soars high above most of us. It was his spirit of service and patriotism that led him to start a program at Fort Belvoir for adaptive archery for his fellow wounded warriors.

“I proudly submit for the record this poem penned by Albert Carey Caswell in his honor, and in celebration of his new adapted home built thanks to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

“At this time, I would like to read an excerpt of this poem:

As his two brothers,

angels now up to Heaven would rise...

Coming back home with only his family upon which to rely...

So all by his side...

His fine wife Melissa and children giving him the strength to try...

As he knew it was time...

Time to rebuild his life...

Armed with his heart of the strength and iron will...

Giving him the power and courage to nourish him to instill...

The strength to rebuild...

Who against all odds our wounded warriors into that dark night move onward

still...

“Mr. Speaker, it is people, it is people like Major Burkett who we celebrate. People who put themselves in danger, in harm’s way, in order to protect the rest of us. I am so proud and so humbled to be able today to submit this poem in honor of Major Burkett.”

USMSC Major Eric Burkett

[Photo courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation]

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