United States Marine Corps Major Eric Burkett grew up in the military life. His father was a career Marine pilot and both of his grandfathers served in WWII.
Eric knew at a young age he was born to be a Marine, even after being told that he would not be accepted into the Marine Corps due to an “asthma-like” condition. At 22, he spent nearly six years in the Reserve. He took classes in college and trained in many different military specialties, eventually earning the rank of Sergeant.
In April 2012, two weeks into his deployment, Eric was flying an MV-22B as part of Operation African Lion. The plane suddenly went into an uncontrolled flight and crashed in Morocco. Eric immediately lost his right leg below the knee, suffered lung damage and ocular nerve damage.
Six days later, he arrived at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment and recovery where he underwent a left knee replacement. His wife, Melissa, remained by his side. In 2018, ultimately Eric's left knee was amputated above the knee.
Eric’s dream is to bring his wife and children to live near his family in Pennsylvania. The Gary Sinise Foundation is honored to make this dream a reality by building the Burkett Family a specially adapted smart home in New Castle, PA.