Presentation Date: February 25, 2016
Steven Burchik, Sergeant, United States Army
Steven Burchik was born in New York City in 1945, the eldest of three brothers. His father was a machinery mechanic; his mother was a clerical worker. Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Manhattan College during the turbulent 1960s. He worked his way through school, including a stint at the New York Daily News, and remained active on campus—even starting a second student newspaper to provide an outlet for students to voice different views.
After graduation, he enlisted in the US Army in at New York City in 1967 at the peak of the Vietnam War. After basic training and advanced infantry training, he was processed for Vietnam at Oakland Army Base and departed the US from Travis Air Force Base via MAC contract airlift.
Based at Zian near Long Binh, he spent a year in the rice paddies northeast of Saigon in the role of a forward observer as a sergeant with the First Infantry Division. On return to the US, he was discharged in the rank of sergeant at Oakland Army Base in June 1969.
Steve’s military awards and decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, an Air Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He later earned his MBA from Michigan State University and had a successful career as a marketing executive and entrepreneur in the food industry.
Married with three grown children, Steve and his wife Christina reside in San Ramon. He enjoys pursuing photography and sailing on San Francisco Bay.
Compass and a Camera, his memoir of his Vietnam War experience, is his first book. It won a Silver Medal at the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards ceremony in New York on May 27 in the category Autobiography/Memoir III.