Michael “Mac” “Mike” Henry McBurnette, Texas, U. S. Air Force, Vietnam War

God bless all our troops, that gave their life’s to fight for what they thought was right.

My mentor, boss, friend, Michael Henry McBurnette was an Air Force Helicopter pilot during Vietnam War.

He survived for 20 years, but his PTSD, Alcoholism, and addictions killed him. He could not escape from that awful war! 

He committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in 1995 in Sugar Land, TX.

Thirteen of his buddies died in the helicopter crash, that he survived. He suffered from Survivor Guilt too! He never got over it. God bless his memory.

Michael Henry “Mac” McBurnette

Birth: Oct. 17, 1945 Louisiana, USA

Death: Jan. 20, 1995 Sugar Land, Fort Bend County Texas, USA

Name: Michael H Mcburnette

Name Suffix:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 30 Oct 1978
Event Place: Harris, Texas, United States
Age: 33
Birth Year (Estimated): 1945
Spouse’s Name: Nancy Merriam
Spouse’s Age: 50
Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated): 1928
Certificate Number: 161744
Affiliate County Code: 101

Mac helped a lot of suffering alcoholics and addicts to begin recovery, in the TDCJ-ID Central unit in Sugar Land, TX. He was loved by many! He worked for the prison system, and helped start a group at the Jester II unit for veterans. God, I miss him!

Mac worked as Senior Counselor, for SATP (Substance Abuse Treatment Program) department, for the prison system at the Central unit from April 1, 1985 to Oct. 28, 1994.

Promoted to Regional Director of SATP, where he worked tirelessly up until his suicide on Jan. 15, 1995. I too, was very disillusioned with the prison system, that chose to just “sweep it under the rug”, and by it I mean Mac’s suicide.

He had been sober for over twenty years. That month we had a quarterly meeting at Jester I, Richmond, TX. No one even mentioned his name! He was supposed to lead that meeting!

Needless to say I was pissed. David asked me if I was alright, and I answered, “Hell, no I am not OK!” Mac suffered and died, and not one person even mentioned him or acted like they missed him.

I knew that no one cared about the inmates, but after that I realized that they didn’t care about us dedicated employees either.

I left that chaotic dysfunctional system in 1996, after five years of dedicated, hard work trying to help alcoholics and addicts begin their road to recovery. God never gives up on us, even when we do. RIP Mike!

Note: Mike was cremated.  He was A1C, US AIR FORCE.

Burial: Houston National Cemetery Houston Harris County Texas, USA Plot: MA, 0, 83

Maintained by: TEXAS TUDORS

Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office

Record added: Feb 25, 2000

Find A Grave Memorial# 968184

Thanks for your service to our country, Mac. Rest in peace. I miss you.

Michael Henry Mac McBurnette Helicopter pilot in Air Force in Vietnam.

Poor Mike he suffered from what we call PTSD or “Survivor Guilt”.

All thirteen of his buddies were killed when their helicopter was shot down in Vietnam. Mike was the only survivor, but it scarred him for the rest of his life. He suffered from his own demons but he helped many a suffering alcoholic/addict in the Texas Department Criminal Justice-ID to get clean and sober.

Mike was my supervisor-Senior Counselor-at the Central unit at One Circle Drive, Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Texas.

The causalities continue to mount up for that “horrible” war. Mac, I miss you so much still! You are gone but not forgotten. I will keep your memory alive!

Love, your friend, Sally

Michael Henry Mac McBurnette

Mike's Medals

Michael H. McBurnette’s Medals and Certificates at his Memorial on January 23, 1995.

Mike wanted his body cremated, and his ashes spread around the Vietnam Memorial, but we were told that we couldn’t do that, and only people who were killed in battle could be buried there. So, his ashes were spread here at the Houston National Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas.

Michael Henry McBurnette’s Memorial, January 23, 1995, in the Houston National Cemetery.

Mike or Mac was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, thirteen of his buddies were killed when his helicopter was shot down. He was the only survivor. He suffered “survivor guilt”, “depression”,  and “post traumatic” stress syndrome” for twenty years after.

T.D.C.J. – ID, Central State Farm = Central Unit, Sugar Land, Texas.

Michael Henry McBurnette-1994-Sugar Land, Texas.

This page is sponsored by: TEXAS TUDORS

My Memorial page that I wrote for Mike’s funeral, but I was so broken up that I couldn’t read it. So, Chaplain Gonzales read it for me. I have kept my promise to you Mac.

Winfred B, David M, and I continued to go into that same prison, the Central unit, where we worked together, to “carry the message” of recovery to those walking wounded boys.

Mike had wanted his ashes spread by the Vietnam Wall, but since he did not die in the war they would not allow it. 


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