Suzie Burks, a 2006 Glacier High School graduate from North Fork, was welcomed home May 27 after serving in Afghanistan in the U.S. Army.
After finishing high school in Oakhurst, she received a service academy nomination from Congressman Radanovich, which led to an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, where she graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
After undergoing several months of basic officer training in Virginia, she was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky. where she earned her Air Assault wings (among other tactical operations, learning to rappel out of helicopters) and her Pathfinder Badge, which involves establishing helicopter landing zones.
In September of 2012, she was deployed to Forward Operating Base, Salerno, located a short distance from the Pakistani border in Afghanistan. Nicknamed "Rocket City," this post was frequently the target of rocket fire from Taliban forces who fled across the border after launching their attacks.
On May 27, the Burks family was all relieved to welcome her home from Afghanistan, safe and sound, at Fort Campbell.
Promoted to first lieutenant in 2011, she currently serves as a logistics officer in Headquarters, 3rd Special Troops Battalion (normally a captain's position), and is responsible for managing transportation, supplies, and all logistics needs for approximately 500 soldiers and officers.
Sometime toward the end of this year, she expects to be promoted to captain, then transferred to a command training program in Virginia lasting several months. After graduation, it's unknown where she will be stationed although the family is hopeful it will be closer to the West Coast.
West Point graduates are obligated to serve five years on active duty in the Army. Burks now has less than two years of her active duty obligation remaining, and her plans after her obligation is fulfilled are undecided. Her parents are Don and Mary Burks of North Fork.