Sam Burrows

sam burrows post card 052504


From: chief201 []

Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 10:46 AM


Subject: reply to post card


Hi Andy,


Its been a long time since that picture was taken.My home phone number is

xxx-xxx-xxxx.Unfortunately due to my position as Fire Chief, I am

constantly bombarded by sales people and crank callers.So I have a phone

block which will not accept unidentified callers.


Since serving in the army, I came home worked as a police officer for a

couple of years, and then an airport firefighter.While at the airport I

started working part time for a new company called Federal Express.That

led to a full time job which I have been doing since 1979.The fire

department is all volunteer, and I put in about 25 to 35 hours a week being

chief.This is my 40th year in the department and 20th as Chief.I'm

married for 34 years and have a 29 year old son who is a Penn State grad and

a mechanical engineer.Also I have a 26 year old daughter who is married

and a 10 month old grand daughter, which is the love of our life.


Please reply with your phone number and I will try to contact you.It's

been good to hear from you.








Hi Sam,


Thanks for the reply.A few days ago, I was looking at some of the Camp Red Ball pictures, and saw yours.Remembering that you said that you lived in the land in the Pennsylvanian Dutch country and your town had a strange name, I decided to give it a Google search.I came up with a newspaper article from East Penn Publishing, with your name, the name of your town, CATASAUQUA, that you were the Fire Chief.When I saw the name of the town, I had a hunch that I hit the jack pot.I called its village hall, and talked to a nice lady who gave me your business address.


A couple of years ago, I was playing around on the computer, and did a search of the 300th TC.It brought me to the web sight that told the history of the 4th Transportation Command.I sent a letter with some imbedded Tan Son Nhut and Camp Red Ball pictures to itís web master, Dr. Ralph Grambo.He is a professor at the University of Scranton, in your state, and was interested enough to ask me to set up the pictures in a more organized fashion.He then put them on display with my narrative on the web sight.The text I gave was only from my memory, once you read it, you are most welcome to make corrections, especially with the spelling of the names that I really made a mess of.You worked in the office and may have a better recall of the proper spellings, since you had to type them so many times when making up orders.When I first wrote the narrative in a letter to Dr. Grambo,I never know it would be a final finished product.I would have given it some more polish.It can be seen under: Tet í68 Ė Camp Red Ball, from the web sight or directly at:


Once it was on display for a few months, an Allen Furtado contacted me, and asked if he could display the pictures on his 71st Transportation Battalion web sight.Iím on page 25 of it in a slightly different format at:


Since they have been out there, I have received a dozen or so responses from people who were at Camp Red Ball, but none from our Army Air Cargo family.I will send you copies of all the correspondence and pictures that were not on the web sights and/or were sent to me by others.I think you will find them most interesting. Iíll put them on a CD in the mail.Itís a lot faster than downloading them over the phone line.


After coming home from Camp Red Ball in March of 1968, I was reassigned as an instructor at Fort Sill Ok, teaching junior officers and OTC candidates on the finer art of inspecting self-propelled artillery vehicles.It was an interesting summer before I again became a civilian and returned to my former job as a mechanic in a truck garage.I worked there for a total of 13 years before and after the army before starting my second full-time carrier in 1977 as mechanic for my home town at the City of Wood Dale.When I started working for the City 27 years ago, I said maybe I could stick it out for 2 or 3 weeks until I found something better.But Iím still here.And it did get better with time, even after having 14 bosses through the years.Since my youngest daughter is only 12, I keep telling myself to behave because I have to work for another 10 or 11 years.Through the years, much has changed, and much has stayed the same.I haveand have lived in Wood Dale all of my 57 years going back to by birth.I have only lived within 7 houses of where I now live.My wife Carrie also has only lived in Wood Dale.Our garage services a typical municipal fleet of about 90 vehicles, that include squad cars, administrative, and public works trucks and equipment.One of my mechanics of 12 years, formally worked as a top mechanic for America LaFrance, and spent 15 years on engines and ladder trucks.Ironically we donít work on fire apparatuses. Our Fire District is a separate municipal governmental agency then the City.Their paths donít cross too often, mainly because of the politics.


I personally do have many fond memories of the fire service.†† I served as a paid-on-call firefighter for Wood Dale from 1974 through 1982. I made a lot of friends that I still see almost every day. If it would have stayed as a volunteer organization, I think I would still be there.When I first joined, my first father-in-law was one of its charter members since 1942 and was the first Chief of Wood Dale.I still remember how much he loved the department and how much he gave and shared with others.I only left because my former wife, his daughter, became a trusty, and her first cousin was the chief.It was a sad time in my life then due to the fact that I was divorced after a 7 year marriage in 1979, and it was hard working with her.Also the fire department went from a volunteer organization to a full-time governmental paid district.I imagine you know better than I do of the problems once political money, unions, and lawyers, get through the fire house doors. You must have heard all of the stories.It just wasnít the place that it had been when we were kids riding up to get our bike tires filled and getting a free bottle of pop.I still am consulted from time to time for advise on the repairs and maintenance of the Fire Associationís 1946 Ford/Darley pumper.Not many of the new, young guys know much about her.I was once honored with being the president of the Association , which now-a-days doesnít have as much purpose in our community as it used to have when our townís population was about 800.Wood Dale is now at 12,500 and still growing.


Not all of 1979 was bad though, I met my current wife Carrie, who was one of the fire dispatchers that year.She left the Wood Dale fire district a little after then and moved up to a fire district to the town north of us, Elk Grove Village, where she worked as a dispatcher and later in the fire prevention bureau.She spent over 18 years there and only a few years ago left, to be a stay-at-home mom with our daughter, Katie, who just turned 12 and is almost out of the 6th grade.She is the joy of our lives.Sheís an honor roll student, loves animals, soccer, playing the piano, and best of all is a good people person.


I also have a son, Joe, who is 27, and after two years of college at the University of Illinois, quit for a while to work for a computer firm.He never went back to finish his education and Iím not really too happy about that.But I still hope for the best.He lives 180 miles south of here in Champaign, Illinois, and doesnít have much time for his family anymore.


My only time away from our family and its activities is spent at the local dog club.Iím on the board of directors and teach classes in dog obedience.When I get a few minutes, I try to teach our own two cocker spaniels. Jordan (thatís where the name in the e-mail address comes from) a black one, and the other is Riley, a blondie.Both are in the top level of obedience training, in what is know at the Utility level of competition. Both have had torn ligament operations in their legs in the last year or so. So their training has been limited.But I hope to get them back in competition later in the summer or fall.Our dog club also has classes in breed confirmation, tracking, agility, and therapy work.Many of our members spend untold hours in hospitals and old people homes with their dogs.


Again, it made my day to hear from you.In the cdís folder, VN Pictures Ė All, youíll find both good and bad ones, a hundred forty or so.I put all in the folder, because every time you look at them you see something different.I have also included all of the e-mails sent to me by others.Some have included pictures too.I think youíll find the e-mail interesting.


Hope to hear from you soon,