Veteran of the Week: Staff Sgt. James Rodgers Burks

Published 10:09 am Monday, January 29, 2018

By MELANIE POOLE / Special to the Reporter

The Veteran of the Week is sponsored by the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor at the American Village — honoring America’s veterans and telling the stories of their service and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.

“The American Village is pleased to join the Shelby County Reporter in recognizing Staff Sgt. James Rodgers Burks as Veteran of the Week,” American Village founder and CEO Tom Walker said. “He is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who have risked it all for the sake of our country and its freedom. To all veterans we owe a debt we can never fully repay.”

Visit the website,, today and add your loved ones to the Register of Honor. Help us honor, recognize, respect and remember our country’s veterans.

Here are highlights about this week’s Veteran of the Week: James Burks was born in Troy, AL in 1944. In 1965, at the age of 20, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in Montgomery, AL. He undertook basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. In 1966 after attending an electrical course at Shepard AFB, Witchita Falls, TX, he received orders to K.I. Sawyer AFB, Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 1967 he transferred to Guam for six months of duties supporting operation “ARC Light.” Upon returning to K.I. Sawyer, Sergeant Burks received orders to report to Utapah Thailand for one year. When he returned back to the U.S.A. he was honorably discharged. Sergeant Burks now calls Alabaster his home.

In His Own Words: “I joined the U.S.A.F. to defend and serve my country. One very memorable experience was one night when I was working the night shift in Thailand. Several 750# bombs were dropped by the bomb ammunition maintenance while unloading them off a truck. They exploded and shook the entire base. Thankfully no one was killed.”