Ambassador Gabi Burd beams with Military Pride

Gabi Burd is striving to get more people involved in the Westmoreland County Veterans of the World on Terror as an ambassador.


Gabi Burd, her mother and George W. Casey Jr.

Richard Hillwig, Staff Writer

Gabi Burd is making a difference in her everyday life as a child of a veteran. During her lifetime, she has dealt with family members being away to serve our country, but finds joy again when each returns home. Gabi’s mother served in the Army National Guard and would sometimes serve overseas for the United States of America. Now her mother is a recruiter who still serves the country yet in different ways. 

Her mother decided that she wanted to be part of the Army National Guard because of financial support when she was 17-years-old, a recent graduate in 1994 from Derry. Gabi said that her mother enjoyed working in the Guard because she would lead all the men. She started liking the responsibilities of being a part of the military, and wanted to take on more. 

Being a part of the armed forces runs deep in her family. One of her biggest inspirations to her commitment to the Army is her uncle Earl Filmore Jr. To her he was a dedicated soldier who unfortunately lost his life while serving in Somalia in 1993.  Her grandfather was also part of the military due as he was drafted by the Army as a veteran of the Vietnam War. 

“All of my great grandfather’s were veterans. And my great uncle/my mom’s uncle was a very decorated soldier,” said Burd. 

Gabi knows that being a part of a military family is challenging yet worth achieving. 

During the times that her mother has been away serving our country, Gabi has experienced various emotions. “When she is gone, it is different, because I have been with her my entire life. When she is gone for periods of time, you feel as if you are missing something. Like you don’t have her here to ask her questions, and everything, and have her help you. It’s weird not having her home sometimes, but I know that she’ll always come back,” said Burd. Most times her mother would be gone for an average of two weeks. Some trips were shorter and some trips were longer, depending on how long a certain assignment lasted. 

While her mother was away on certain assignments, for example in Iraq, Gabi would naturally take on more responsibilities in the household. “It’s just my dad and I at home whenever my mom is gone, so we have to split all the chores and everything because we don’t have three people to do it anymore, and it’s a lot harder for me to get to softball practice and stuff because my dad may still be at work. So I don’t have that extra help to get places or to do things,” said Burd.

Because Gabi understands the life of a military child, she volunteered to be an ambassador for the Westmoreland County Veterans of the World on Terror. 

The organization has a future plan after Covid-19 dies down, it will hold a walk or run to raise money for the memorial that they are building at Twin Lakes Park on September 11, 2021, for the 16 people who have died in war who are connected to Westmorland County. 

As an ambassador, Gabi’s job in the community is to recruit teen volunteers from GLSD, and other schools, to become more involved. The organization asked Gabi to get others more involved in learning about and becoming a part of the group as an ambassador. “I’m meeting a lot of new people through it, like kids from other schools and teachers and principals from other schools. It can be stressful at times, whenever I give speeches and things for the organization. So it is stressful, but I think that it is interesting and good for me to be a part of this group because I’m excited to get students involved and everything,” said Burd 

“Not many students and teenagers parents are in the military, and I felt that it would be beneficial for students to experience what it’s like and learn more about the military and just get involved with learning about it so that we can have more people in the future be involved in the military or support it so that we can raise awareness to have a bigger community.” 

“My favorite part is meeting new people, and being able to represent what my family does and tell my story and my mom’s story, and just be a part of something this big and making a difference.”

Gabi is proud of her mother for serving our country. With pride, Gabi Burd spreads the word about Westmoreland County Veterans of the World on Terror.