Dustin Burnett—January 2009 Shipment Honoree
I had a chance to meet Dustin’s family at the Soldier Down fund raising event in October. His mother, Debbie Nuchols, told me the story of finding an assignment a couple weeks after learning that he had given the ultimate sacrifice he did when he was younger. The assignment was to give a description of themselves as a saint and it included a drawing that Dustin did that is nearly identical to his photo as a Navy Corpsman taken this year. To the Marines life Dustin save a week before his death he was a saint.
Jim Spliedt LHCP Vice President
Bomb kills Navy medic from Ariz. in Afghanistanby John Faherty – Jun. 24, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Debbie Nuchols opened the door at 10:30 last Friday night and knew.
“Two guys in dress whites and a Navy chaplain,” she said. “You know what they are there for. No doubt.”
They were there to tell the Fort Mohave woman that her son, 19-year-old Dustin Burnett, was dead.
On Friday, June 20, Burnett, was a passenger in a vehicle in the Farah province of central-western Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded and killed him.
He graduated from Mohave High School in 2007, joined the Navy and went off to war in Afghanistan.
When young men and young women from this part of far-western Arizona join the military, people come together for a send-off rally at the American Legion Post in Bullhead City.
“It’s a tradition here,” said Jack Hakim, the mayor of Bullhead City. “I present our fighting men with a key to the city, and I tell them the city is with them all the way. Let’s them know we will remember them.”
Nuchols remembers her son’s speech like it was yesterday.
“He said he wanted to fight for our freedoms. But more than that, he wanted to give the people over there the same freedoms he had.”
Nuchols was so proud of her son after the send-off rally that she told anybody who would listen that her son “could grow up and be president someday.”
The send-off rally was March 23.
He was sent to Afghanistan on April 1.
Burnett was in the landlocked country because he was a hospitalman attached to a Marine division. A hospitalman is a medic.
“Everybody over there called him Doc,” Nuchols said. “He loved the idea that he would be taking care of people.”
Burnett played football for the Fort Mohave Thunderbirds for four years.
His cousin remembers him as a happy and energetic young man.
“He was always smiling,” said Rachel Nuchols. “I can’t really picture him any way except full of life.”
Rachel said her cousin wanted to go to college when he got home from the Navy.
He leaves behind his mother and stepfather. And a little brother, 13-year-old Devin.
In the past school year, Devin was given an assignment to write about his hero. He wrote about his older brother.
The flags in Bullhead City are flying at half-staff today.
Burnett’s death marks the 121st member of the military with Arizona ties to die in Afghanistan or Iraq.
CORPSMAN DUSTIN K. BURNETT Who was 19 years old was killed by a roadside bomb Friday June 20th in Afghanistan fighting for our freedoms in Operation Enduring Freedom. Dustin was born at Parkview Hospital in Riverside, CA 08/17/1988. He moved to Bullhead City, Arizona his Freshman year of High School but attended Chemawa Jr. High in Riverside, CA. Dustin is survived by his father and mother, Donald and Debra Nuchols and his brother, Devin Nuchols, all of Fort Mohave, Arizona; his grandmother, Kathy Burnett of Riverside, CA. Too often people forget the countless brave that have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day. He was a true Patriot the following is a quote from Dustin at age 14 “I will uphold freedoms to people who have none, I seek out those who wish to bring hate and terror to our Country and I want to be a soldier not only of America but of God.” We love you Dustin you were both to us all!! “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” -Plato Following is his service schedule. Friday, 4 JULY 2008 – Full Military Honors / Funeral Honor Detail ** Dress Whites with Ribbons 10:00 AM — Burial at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California – Honor Guard Provided by NOSC Moreno Valley – Chaplain (LCDR) Robert Spencer, CHC, USN, NAS North Island – Flag Presenter: RDML Donald Gintzig, MSC, USN (Vice Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command and Deputy Commander, Navy Medicine East) Riverside National Cemetery — (951) 653-8417 22495 Van Buren Boulevard Riverside, CA 92518 Reception after word at St. Catherines Church 7050 Brockton Avenue Riverside, CA 951-781-9855 In Lieu of Flowers we are asking that donations be made to Military Moms who use the funds to send packages to deployed troops. Make Checks to Cindy Frizelle on the Memo please write Military Moms for Dustin Burnett they can be mailed to 1943 Clubhouse Plz.Fort Mohave, AZ 86426 You can also e-mail her inspirational stories about Dustin to [email protected] Desert Lawn Funeral Home 9250 S. Ranchero Lane Mohave Valley, AZ 86440 PE.com
The members of Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were honored to remember Dustin during the month of January 2009 with our shipments to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and U.S. military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Grant’s family and friends today and in the years to come.