While he also had a good experience in Afghanistan, it was much rougher. Burns spent those months living out of a backpack, sleeping on wooden floors, cots and the cold ground. On a week-long mission, Burns slept in a body bag to keep warm. After one particularly brutal firefight, he surveyed the row of enemy bodies from a Black Hawk helicopter.
“It wasn’t the best thing to go through,” Burns said.
Those were two moments he nearly quit the National Guard.
“I just knew I couldn’t do it anymore — and then I signed up again,” he said.
Burns said he enjoys being a part of something bigger than himself and helping others.
“There’s nothing better than having a sidearm strapped onto your leg in a drop holster, there’s nothing better than having a rifle across your chest, having double magazines stacked across,” Burns said.