American Legion Auxiliary and Tribute to the Troops Honor James Philip Buriak   –  June 3

flag1American Legion Auxiliary Unit #58, Dublin, in conjunction with Tribute to the Troops, will be hosting a program to honor Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James P. Buriak on June 3rd.

Buriak died Aug. 31, 2021 in the crash of an MH-60S U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The helicopter crashed into the Pacific Ocean while conducting a routine flight off the coast of San Diego.  He was one of five crew members who perished in the crash.  All were attached to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8, which is based at Naval Air Station North Island in the San Diego Bay.


After graduating from Salem High School and Roanoke College, Buriak entered the Navy in 2017.  He is survived by his wife, Megan, young son Caulder, and his parents Carol and James Buriak.


American Legion Auxiliary Unit #58 President, Gwenn Akers, said the Tribute to the Troops Harley Davidson Motorcycle unit will leave Wytheville and arrive at the American Legion Post #58 at approximately 12:30 p.m.  They will travel down East Main Street in Dublin and pass by the Post in tribute to Buriak’s Gold Star family, who will be watching in front of the Post.


The Post will have the restored 1942 WWII Army Jeep, donated by former WWII Veteran Robert Roland Lamp, along with the restored Caisson, on the grounds.  The Jeep and Caisson were presented in 2021 by the American Legion Post #58, Dublin for use by Veterans and their families for burying their loved ones at the Veterans Cemetery.

Traveling with the the unit will be Rockie Lynne, a U.S. Army Veteran and Country Music singer/songwriter who co-founded Tribute to the Troops.  Tribute to the Troops is a philanthropic organization out of North Carolina, but recently expanded to allow visits to Gold Star families in all 50-states.  Lynne has several albums honoring the military – one called Songs for Soldiers.


Lynne has hosted a TV program called Operation Build, where various organizations work together to renovate homes for Veterans and Gold Star Moms.


Also accompanying the motorcycle unit will be board members from North Carolina chapters of Tribute to the Troops and Gold Star Moms.


A meal will be provided by Mission BBQ located at 2585 Market Street in Christiansburg, whose mission is to proudly serve those who served – soldiers, firefighters, police officers and first responders.