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"SSGT Bryan A. Burgess, 29, of Cleburne, TX, died March 29, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY. He died at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained after enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire in Kunar province.

SSGT Burgess was a 1999 graduate of Cleburne High School where he excelled as an athlete in soccer, baseball and football, and ran track. Burgess’ “senior brags” in the CHS yearbook include JV and varsity soccer, freshmen baseball and football, track and four years in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Before enlisting, Staff Sergeant Burgess completed one year at Hill College. “He didn’t talk about the military until the end of his senior year,” Mrs. Pearce said. “He was in his ninth year of service and had planned to make it a career.” The Cleburne, Texas, native deployed twice to Iraq and had about 26 days remaining on his deployment to Afghanistan. Schmidt said Burgess would do anything for his fellow Soldiers even if that meant sacrificing his time and energy. But Burgess had a way of replenishing his always present energy. I believed that the ‘Sesame Street’ character Cookie Monster was based off of him. He loved cookies,” said Schmidt. “No cookies were safe, even if a cookie was on the way to your mouth, he’d take it. Even First sergeant cookies weren’t safe.”"

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