Armer Nathan Burkart
Specialist, United STaes Army
RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 441-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2006
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry(703)428-0711
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Specialist Armer N. Burkart, 26, of Rockville, Maryland, died of injuries sustained in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 11, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat patrol operations. Burkart was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.
For further information related to this release,
contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.
Army Specialist Armer Burkart often told his father that despite the dangers in Iraq, the chances of becoming a casualty seemed low considering how many soldiers are stationed there.
Even so, he thought serving his country far outweighed the risks.
"He knew it was dangerous," said his father, John Burkart of Mount Dora. "He was proud to be there."
On Thursday, Armer Burkart, 26, was killed by a bomb in Baghdad.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 71st Cavalry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York. He was the gunner in the turret of a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle that was hit by an improvised explosive device, according to military reports.
John got the news the same day. "It's a terrible shock," he said.
The family will attend funeral services Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Armer, named after his great-grandfather, was a charismatic teen who played saxophone in his high-school marching band, his father said. He attended Lehigh University in Pennsylvania on an ROTC scholarship and dropped out to enlist.
Armer Burkart joined the Army in July 2000, following his family's tradition of military service. Both his late grandfathers were retired Navy captains.
He trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and deployed with that unit to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004. He was reassigned to Fort Drum in August 2004.
Burkart said his son sought a chance to serve in Iraq as part of his career military plans: "He felt like he would be a better officer."
John Burkart, a retired General Electric executive, moved from Maryland six years ago to Mount Dora, where his family had settled in the 1930s to grow citrus.
Armer Burkart and his wife, Christy, were married
four years and lived in Fort Drum. His brother, John Burkart Jr., 24, lives
A soldier who grew up Rockville died Thursday after an improvised explosive device exploded near his military vehicle while it was conducting combat operations in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Monday.
Army Specialist Armer N. Burkart, 26, died of injuries sustained in Baghdad on when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat patrol operations, the Pentagon said in a news release.
Burkart was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum in New York.
Fort Drum officials said he was the gunner in the turret of a high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle when it was attacked.
His father, John Burkart of Mount Dora, Florida, said Armer wanted to be in the Army since he joined the ROTC program at Magruder High School in Derwood in Montgomery County. While in high school, he played the saxophone with the marching band.
"Both of his grandfathers were in the Navy," Burkart recalled during a phone interview Monday. "He was familiar with service life."
Before serving in Iraq, Armer Burkart served in Afghanistan from August 2003 to April 2004, according to Fort Drum officials, who said he enlisted in July of 2000.
His father said Armer Burkart lived with his wife of three years, the former Christy Anderson, in Blairstown, N.J. John Burkart said Armer has a younger brother, Pete. Their mother is deceased, he said.
Regardless of the sacrifices, John said his son always loved the Army and was willing to give up everything, including a full ROTC scholarship to Lehigh University, to be in the Army.
"He was a great guy, he was proud to be in the Army," his father recalled. "He volunteered for combat ... he had a nice safe position which he chose to give up."
Posted: 16 May 2006 Updated: 30 May 2006 Updated: 17 June 2006 Updated: 19 November 2006
Photo Courtesy of Holly, November 2006
Photo Courtesy of Holly, June 2006