Burnis T. Gardner

Today I sat quietly and read blogs; so many great tributes to veterans…those living and those who gave their life for their country.

I especially remembered my brother-in-law, Burnis T. Gardner, who served in WWII and was one of the last three soldiers to leave Okinawa, after spending the night in a fox hole, listening to a Japanese soldier die from their gunshot wounds. It was either kill or be killed but the night has never left his memory and he tells the story with great emotion.

So, for me, this day, it was a day to remember the 19-year-old young man who served his country, came home, and lived a life teaching others; his purple heart was lost somewhere; my son replaced it but it’s not the same. Bub, as we call him, never exalted himself as a hero.

He has lived a simple life, building a home, gardening, hunting his beloved coon dogs, repairing others equipment…always busy. He will be 85 on November 23 and we, his family, are the ones who have been truly blessed by his presence among us. He is wise and many seek his advice.

A great man…one who has influenced my life for the better. Thank you for serving not only your country but also your State, your community, your family and your friends.

10 thoughts on “Burnis T. Gardner

  1. What a warm, beautiful tribute! I salute him too.

    These young guys, fighting wars, really have to grow up in a hurry! Many 19-year-old you meet today can be very immature.

    G-d bless you brother-in-law and send him my best for his b/d, even though he doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall :o)


    • I am going to make a copy of all the comments here and give them to him on his birthday! So he may not know you but he will know that you sent him birthday greetings!
      Thank you.

      I wonder if I should ask for others to send him a birthday greeting?


      • That’s a wonderful idea!

        Being from Sweden, I haven’t met all that many WWII vets in my life, but the few I have met, I’ve told how much I respect them and how thankful I am.


  2. He will be pleased to receive your birthday wishes…I can see him now…he will kinda grin…wipe the back of his hand across his lower face…and move on…almost embarrassed by someone he doesn’t know paying respect to him on his 85th birthday. He did not want any kind of celebration he said, until he reached 100…I said, “I don’t think I will be around to see you then so I have to do something now!”


  3. We have a baby-faced 18 year old and I couldn’t help but think of him as I read about your brother in law and his experiences in that fox hole.

    Please extend my heartfelt thanks to him; we appreciate his sacrifices .. and I do hope he has a very Happy Birthday!



  4. He didn’t know it, but I cannot think of a sole that I appreciated more than Burnis T. Gardner (Hardy Jr. High, 1955-’58). Mr. Gardner was not the General, or the Admiral; he was a gutsy Mississippi Marine who was truly a “living” John Wayne. I’m embarrassed to say that I lost a Japanese Nambu pistol that Mr.Gardner gave me some 40 years ago. Conversation regarding, “What did you do during World War II,” wasn’t one of Burnis’ specialties. But, I did ask him about the legacy and history of the gun…and, I’m still waiting for an answer. He was and is a great teacher, neighbor, mechanic, craftsman, gardener and hunter, a devout Christian, and an American War hero that we’ll probably never hear about. Thanks for remarkable memories, Mr. Gardner. James H. Watts


    • Thank you for this great reflection of my brother in laws life and what he meant in your life. Thank you for commenting.


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