Soldier with Oklahoma ties killed in Iraq


Saturday, January 29th 2005, 2:47 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A decorated soldier who was killed earlier this week in Iraq had grown angry with the constant insurgent attacks in that country, his family said.

One of those attacks killed U.S. Army Spc. Taylor Burk, 21, in Baghdad on Tuesday after an apparent roadside bomb detonated near the Humvee he was driving.

``He was well-liked,'' Kimberly Burk, an assistant city editor for The Oklahoman, said of her stepson. ``He was just so soft-spoken and cheerful. When the other kids (his two brothers and three sisters) were contentious, he would say the right thing to break it up. His dad called him a peacemaker. ..''

Taylor Burk, a native of Amarillo, Texas, joined the Army soon after graduating from high school, his stepmother said Thursday from her Edmond home.

His parents are Tim Burk of Edmond and Tracy Preddy of Amarillo, Texas.

A recent e-mail Taylor Burk sent from Iraq described regular mortar explosions and a local resident who was killed by insurgents for selling soft drinks to American soldiers.

Taylor Burk also apologized for not sending e-mails more often.

``Sometimes I'm tired and just don't want to walk to the computers,'' he said in an e-mail. ``It's safer to stay inside with all the mortars and rockets that hit this Godforsaken place.''

In an April attack, Taylor Burk suffered a gunshot wound to the heel. He returned to his home base at Fort Hood, Texas, to recuperate before shipping back to Iraq in October.

The soldier earned a Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart and Combat Medic Badge after the April attack.

``He ignored his own wound and tended to one of his company members who was wounded more seriously,'' Kimberly Burk said.

In an Army news release, Taylor Burk summed up his actions in five words: ``I just did my job.''

A date for Taylor Burk's funeral, which will be held in Amarillo, hasn't been set.