Old Orchard Beach resident Michael Burke is a longtime supporter of the Travis Mills Foundation. When he signed up for the 2022 Miles for Mills 5K, he didn’t know the answer to the question, “Why do you run?” would be for his father.
Gorham, Maine, resident LTC Patrick Henry Burke, U.S. Army, Ret., Michael’s father, passed away April 12.
“I’m running for Travis in memory of my dad,” Michael said. “There’s no better way to honor my father and his service than to raise funds for Travis’s Foundation,” he added.
To date, Michael is the race’s top fundraiser at $5,855.
LTC Burke enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1970, graduating from OCS shortly after. While serving in the Guard, his civilian career was focused in a variety of financial capacities. He entered active duty with the Army in 1987 and retired in 2004 after 34 years, 4 months and 4 days. While on active duty, he served in many different roles, including an assignment at the White House in the Office of National Drug Control Policy and in investigations for the Inspector General.
“Pop,” as Michael called him, was a wonderful and proud father. During his son’s early years, Pat instilled his love for sports. While stationed at the Pentagon, he routinely drove home to attend as many as Michael’s games as possible.
Victoria, Pat’s granddaughter, was the love of his life. “Appy” loved being her family daycare and shuttling her about to her many activities. As she grew up, he made sure he was a part of every aspect of her life. Although grown now, she will always be his “Tiny.”
The Miles for Mills 5K will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 29 at Brunswick Landing, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Michael said he always looks forward to running the Miles for Mills 5K, but this year will have special meaning as he will be running to honor his “Pop.”
Pat’s obituary reads: “Memorial contributions may be made in Pat’s memory to the Travis Mills Foundation, which provides rest and relaxation for recalibrated veterans. Michael will run Travis’s 5K on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend in his father’s memory, and donations may be made through his fundraising page at runsignup.com/michaelburkesfundraisingpage.