Local man honors veterans with homemade memorial

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Open the 100 year old screen door of Mike Burch's custom built 16 by 20 foot wood frame extension and you instantly become a part of history.

"These are the four that died in Vietnam," said Burch displaying one picture.

"This is my brother he was a Navy Seabee in Vietnam," added Burch pointing to another picture.

Burch's passion for the military and support for those who served has been transformed into a living memorial designed to honor the veterans that have helped shape his life.

"I walk through this room twenty times a day and every time I do I get inspiration from these guys. These guys did what they were supposed to do and did it honorably by the way every one of them and they all deserve recognition so that's what this is for," said Burch.

That recognition comes as a powerful reminder for those who see it for the first time.

"In a word, it just made me feel appreciated," said retired U.S. Army Colonel Jim Spring.

Spring spent 30 years in the Army and retired after numerous tours overseas. The Denham Springs native says Burch's commitment to veterans past and present means even more considering Burch did not serve in the military himself.

"I know in schools today they do a good job of honoring veterans and that is wonderful on an individual citizen level mike is unique in doing that," said Spring.

This connection to military history is the result of Burch's research and devotion to the past he says others can do the same with a little time and effort.

"Whatever it takes for people to preserve the history, our military history especially. Whatever it takes for people to do that I'm encouraging people to do that," said Burch.

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