Veterans’ Voices: Local veteran explains importance of Veterans Day through storytelling and music

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — What do you think about when you hear the words “Veterans Day?” Although some of us may have similar thoughts, some local students might remember the sounds of an accordion and the story of a local navy veteran. If so, those students have probably met retired navy captain Dan Burque.

“I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1986,” Burque told WDHN. “From there, I had time in terms of flight school and then I also ended up going to San Diego, California, where I was stationed on two different ships.”

And thus began Burque’s 30 year career in the United States Navy. A career that led him to the Persian Gulf, Germany, the reserves, back to active duty and eventually a commanding officer position.

“I’ve been to several different places during the time in the navy,” Burque said. “Been to five different continents and 25 different countries during that 30 year time span.”

Although Burque now works a civilian job, his time in the navy continues playing a major role in his life—so much so that he has made it his mission to educate students about the importance of the military and those who have served.

“I’ve been able to go out to schools,” Burque said. “Give them a little bit of my history, tell them who’s a veteran and what the difference is. Especially at the younger level, they might not understand what the difference is between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.”

Burque’s presentation doesn’t stop there.

“I play the accordion,” Burque said. “I have armed forces medley of different songs. Try to get them in the spirit.”

Unfortunately, Burque has not been able to visit schools recently due to the pandemic. However, you can watch his full musical presentation below.

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