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Patriotic Article
Military
By USMC Cpl. Megan Sindelar

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Marine's Passion Supports Operations
(January 10, 2011)

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CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (1/5/2011) – An energetic and upbeat Marine from the countryside of Dutton, Va., spends his time here doing a job he has always loved to do.

Lance Cpl. Christopher L. Burkhart, a diesel mechanic with motor transport, Regimental Combat Team 2, grew up working on four wheelers and trucks, now he works on every type of vehicle the Marine Corps has to offer.

“I got my first four wheeler when I was five and I have been tinkering with and fixing things ever since,” said Burkhart.

Burkhart said his grandfather, Milton, and his brother, Jeremy, were big influences in his life. Both of them loved mechanics and Burkhart grew up learning and working with them.
Lance Cpl. Christopher L. Burkhart, a diesel mechanic with motor transport, Regimental Combat Team 2, spends his time in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, doing a job he has always loved to do. He grew up working on four wheelers and trucks, now he works on every type of vehicle the Marine Corps has to offer.
Lance Cpl. Christopher L. Burkhart, a diesel mechanic with motor transport, Regimental Combat Team 2, spends his time in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, doing a job he has always loved to do. He grew up working on four wheelers and trucks, now he works on every type of vehicle the Marine Corps has to offer.
Burkhart and his mother, Deb, worked on a 1981 Toyota pick-up truck together. It was his mother's first truck and was also the oldest truck he has worked on.

“My mom and I took pride in it together,” said Burkhart.

The newest civilian vehicle he's worked on is his 2005 Dodge Ram. So far, he has added an exhaust, bigger tires, a new head unit and stereo system.

“It's cool to see how far we've come in vehicle technology,” he said.

Now, he is finishing his first deployment to Afghanistan and has worked on every type of vehicle and heavy equipment in the Marine Corps inventory.

His favorite: the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle.

“They are easy to work on and it's the newest thing to come out in the Marine Corps,” said Burkhart. “I love learning everything there is to know about the new vehicles.”

Lance Cpl. Edward V. Miuccio, who has known Burkhart since he settled in Camp Lejeune about a year and a half ago, said that he can tell Burkhart is motivated just by his attitude and confidence while at work.

“He is energetic and enjoys his job,” said Miuccio, line noncommissioned officer with motor transport, RCT 2. “We work together to fix the trucks on the lot.”

“There is nothing better than getting a truck that doesn't run then being able to take it out for a road test because I fixed it,” said Burkhart.

Burkhart, who plans on separating when his active-duty commitment ends, wants to work on the sustainment team for Oshkosh Defense. Oshkosh Defense supplies the M-ATV's to the Marine Corps and the sustainment team sends technicians to work hand-in-hand with Marines to fix any issues with the vehicles in county.

“The Oshkosh guys here really enjoy their jobs and are very helpful, friendly people,” said Burkhart. “I'd be able to concentrate on just the M-ATV instead of the other vehicles here.”

On his off hours, Burkhart is easy-going and hangs out with the guys he works with.

Miuccio said one of his favorite memories of him and Burkhart is staying up on Christmas playing Wii until two in the morning just laughing and relaxing.

“He is a good guy and would give the shirt off his back for any of his friends,” said Miuccio. “I'd trust him with my life.”
Article and photo by USMC Cpl. Megan Sindelar
Regional Command Southwest
Copyright 2011

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