On May 1, 2005, Burnette and his group arrived at the densely-populated neighborhood of Zafaraniya in Iraq, and began inspecting the area.
A vehicle came roaring down the street and exploded, severely injuring Burnette and killing four Iraqi children. Used to working 18-hour days watching out for his own soldiers, the long recuperation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was a tough experience for Brunette.
But while at Walter Reed, he became an older brother figure to the other wounded soldiers, helping them adjust and guiding them during their stay there. Burnette has now recovered from most of his injuries, and hopes to stay on active duty.
For his service and leadership in Iraq and at Walter Reed, Burnette was named the 2006 Army Times Soldier of the Year. Burnette also has earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.