Marshall J. Burnette
Marshall J. Burnette was born Christmas Day 1909 in Dalton, Georgia. He was the son of a U. S. Navy WWI veteran and his family’s primary occupation was farming. He joined the Army in 1928 at the age of 18 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He had numerous assignments in his 28 years of enlisted and commissioned officer service, including Tomb Guard duty as a Corporal in the 1935 – 1938 timeframe while attached to the 13th & 5th Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Prior to commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1942 he achieved the rank of Master Sergeant and served as Regimental Sergeant Major with the 20th Combat Engineers. His wartime service included WWII and Korea, where he served as Port Engineer at the port of Inchon. He retired from military service in 1956 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In civilian life LTC Burnette became a successful general contractor and land developer. He died April 13, 2003 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 67, Grave 1821) with his wife Rose and their special son William.
While LTC Burnette had many, many stories, he enjoyed sharing with his family his favorite was describing his guard duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Even at an advanced age, when memory recall can be problematic, he could count the steps, count through the pauses, simulate the turns and relive the solemn duty he had performed over sixty years earlier.