Mike & H&S Companies 

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

Veterans of the Vietnam War
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Chronology
Obituary
Tributes

   Captain Terry Patrick "Pat" Burns, USMC    

 

Graphic courtesy of Vic Vilionis

These pages are a memorial tribute to Terry Patrick Burns, "Pat" to his friends, family and loved ones, "Captain Burns" or "The Skipper" to those he had the privilege of serving with in the Marine Corps. Pat served two tours in Vietnam. As a young officer of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, he was among the first of the Marines to land in Chu Lai  in early 1965. Following the birth of his oldest son in 1967, Pat returned to Vietnam in 1968-70 to, in his own words, "take care of something left undone."

For a significant portion of his second tour, Captain Burns had the honor and privilege of commanding Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. As noted in the adjoining chronology, Pat joined the company at An Hoa in late 1968, and was an integral part of many of the significant operations undertaken by Mike 3/5 until July of 1969, when he was transferred further north to command a CAP company operating in the Phu Bai area. Although he served with two other units during his time in-country, and extended his second tour in order to stay with his CAP unit, his shared experiences with the men of Mike 3/5 remained with him for the rest of his life. Indeed, the Mike 3/5 banner, seen in a photograph elsewhere on this site, rested, neatly folded, at his bedside, both as a tribute to the men who did not return, and as a ever-present reminder of a defining period in a young manís life.

Pat never spoke much about the war itself, but his experiences during late 1968-1969 had a profound impact on him. He downplayed his military accomplishments, as well as the honors bestowed upon him for his courage. He counseled his children on the horrors of war and hoped that they would never have to experience the trials and tribulations of hard-fought human conflict. To say that he never forgot those experiences would be an understatement. He lived with them every day of his life.

If you happen to have served with Pat, please take a moment to leave a message for his family. If you have a interesting story to tell regarding Captain Burns, or an event to add to the chronology, please share it with us. The thoughts and words of his service buddies, some of which are included here in the Tributes section, bring great comfort and a higher level of understanding to those who loved him dearly, and who will forever hold a special place their hearts for a truly wonderful man.

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Under this page are Pat's obituary, tributes from Marines who knew him and a an excellent chronology put together by his nephew, Scot Milholland. For pictures please visit Pat's picture page.

Please email the Webmaster with comments, questions, corrections and any other feedback you wish to make.  If you wish to contact the Burns family directly by clicking on the underlined link.

Chronology Obituary Tributes

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