Vietnam vet remembered as a hero and friend to all that knew him (Richard Burgess)

A onetime prisoner of war, Richard Burgess was a man who spent much of his life looking out for others’ interests above his own.

To a person, speakers at his memorial service Friday at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery all noted how selfless and caring a man he was to them and just about everyone he came in contact with.

“I knew he was special all our lives and I thought about him every day almost,” said fellow Marine Gary Clemmons, who served with Burgess in Vietnam. “When I think I would have it bad, I would think of Richard (in the POW camp).”

So impactful to some was Burgess’ connection with them, they came from miles away to pay their respects during a ceremony conducted with full military honors in Bluffdale. Burgess spent over six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict, but didn’t allow it the extinguish the kind, generous spirit that ingratiated him to so many people during his 72 years, speakers noted.

“He instilled a very deep love for country and those who came before us and encouraged us to follow (his lead),” said eldest son Nathaniel Burgess. “He truly did love his family and was always there for them in any shape or form.”

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