Jeff Burch is a member of the Alabama National Guard and has seen tours of duty in Afghanistan. One might ask what does someone in the Alabama National Guard have to do with Marianna but there is a very simple answer. Jeff Burch’s grandfather was John Burch. For those who have lived in Marianna as long as I have, you remember that name well. John Burch was the Marianna Fire Chief in the sixties and until his retirement around 1974.
This past Monday, Jeff Burch along with many family members gathered at the Marianna Fire Station on the Kynesville Highway for a flag presentation. Burch returned to Marianna to present a flag that had flown over Afghanistan while he was station there for nine months. He had memories of being at the fire station on Clinton when his grandfather was fire chief and he was just a little tot.
In an interview with Burch at the presentation Monday, he related he had fond memories and at that time dreams of being a fireman when he ‘grew up’. Those dreams did not materialize as he chose a military career but his heart remained with firefighters and thus the presentation.
The flag was beautifully shadowboxed by Burch and ready to hang in the fire department. Those gathered for the event were able to share memories and stories following the presentation.