Fallen Soldier: Richard B. Burress

Richard B. Burress
Dates: Died January 19, 2008
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Specialist
Player: Hugh Foley

Army Specialist Richard B. Burress, 25, of Naples, Florida, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in Fort Stewart, Georgia and served during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On January 19, 2008, SPC Burress died of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised device in Jabour, Iraq.

SPC Burress joined the Army in December 2005. His family said it was to add focus and direction to his life and to serve his country. As a combat engineer, some of SPC Burress’ duties included building fortifications and obstructions ahead of infantry forces and then taking down those built by the enemy. SPC Burress was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal and Iraq Campaign medal for his service and sacrifice.

Family members said Burress enjoyed the simple things in life – fishing, canoeing and spending time with loved ones, including his daughter. “His easygoing manner and natural warmth instantly endeared him to all who met him,” his family said in a statement. Burress was “a reluctant hero,” his family said, who “didn’t want to be recognized for his service and was deeply touched by the many thanks he received from strangers.”

SPC Burress’ daughter is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.