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Local soldier killed in action

In a town known for its naval presence, Michael Burbank decided to march to the beat of a different drummer when he joined the Army in 1996. On Monday he made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror.

Burbank, a 34 year-old Bremerton native, was killed in combat on Monday in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker military vehicle.

“He was born a soldier and my daughter called him her ‘gung ho’ soldier,” said Burbank’s father-in-law Brant Culley.

Burbank married Shawna in 1995 after meeting her in a library and the couple had no children of their own, Culley said. He joined the Army as a tanker and re-enlisted in 1999 to come to Fort Lewis.

Burbank’s unit was less than two weeks from completing its tour of duty in Iraq, he said.

“They were supposed to be home on the 21st,” he said. “When he got home, they were going to Disneyland and were going to adopt a child.”

Burbank was a great son-in-law who was the consummate professional at all times, Culley said.

“When he was around my girls and one of them would mess up, he’d say, ‘That’s a learning experience, soldier,’” he said.

Burbank was assigned to the headquarters platoon when he volunteered to go to A Co., Culley said.

“He felt like he wasn’t making a big enough difference,” Culley said. “He loved doing what he was doing.”

Culley said when the headquarters company heard the blast on the radio, the soldiers ran to the hospital to check on Burbank.

Burbank, who quickly rose to the rank of staff sergeant, was a calvary scout assigned to the First Squadron, 14th Calvary Regiment at Fort Lewis. He was less than three months from being promoted to sergeant first class and had recently been awarded a

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