June 19, 2019 | Story by: Sean Bradley
This article was originally published here.
The people who knew Donald Burgett or knew of him say a lot of good things.
State Senator Lana Theis, R-Brighton, met Burgett about 15 years ago and heard his stories of being a solider fighting in the U.S. Army in WWII.
Buy PhotoMembers of the Burgett family, including Donald Burgett’s wife Twyla (center), as well as several current and former state and federal politicians unveil a plaque commemorating Burgett for his service in the U.S. Army in World War II and renaming the Howell Post Office Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo: Gillis Benedict/Livingston Daily)
“I was absolutely captivated as was nearly everybody else in the room,” Theiss said. “He had stories to tell. Our country needs to hear them. He’s an amazing American hero.”
Theis and approximately 100 others gathered Friday to rename the U.S. Post Office at 325 S. Michigan Avenue the “Sergeant Donald Burgett Post Office Building”.
On hand for the event was much of Burgett’s family, including his widow, Tywla Burgett.
Giving speeches were former Congressman Mike Bishop, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, state Representative Hank Vaupel, Livingston County Commission Chair Donald Parker, County Commissioner Bob Bezotte, Howell mayor Nick Proctor and Mark Kovach, commander of the Donald R. Burgett Disabled American Veterans Chapter 125.
U.S. Senator Gary Peters could not be in attendance but was represented by Nicole Noll-Williams, the Mid-Michigan regional director for Peters’ office.
“I’ll always remember Don Burgett as a very, very special person,” Bezotte said.
Burgett, who died in 2017 at age 91, was an Army paratrooper who participated in the opening operations of the Normandy Invasion with Company A, 506th Parachute Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division.
He published four books about his service, including “Currahee!” in 1968 which was endorsed by President Dwight E. Eisenhower. He used his photographic memory to paint scenes from his service, including how he and four others fought off the Germans at Dead Man’s Corner.
Last June, Bishop introduced the bill to rename the post office in Burgett’s honor.
It was later sent to President Donald Trump for a signature.
The plaque honoring Burgett will be placed inside the post office at a later date.