Weatherford resident Eddie Burnett brings a life of education, military duty and volunteering to his new role as president of the NAACP Parker County/Weatherboard Branch 6321.
Burnett was born in a three-room house in Hitt Spur, MS, a place known more as farmland than a town.
“There were six of us children with our two parents. Our home was bordered on three sides by cotton fields,” Burnett said. “My family had worked for generations for the family that owned those fields. Everyone in my family was expected to plant, cultivate and pick cotton, and so was I. But I was fortunate to leave that life, and I grew up to be the first in my family to graduate from high school and college.”
Burnett eventually went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in criminal justice and sociology.
Burnett served in the U.S. Army for five years on active duty and 19 years in the National Guard, serving in military intelligence, field artillery, light infantry and military police roles. He was deployed to Iraq and several other foreign countries.
“I experienced IEDs and complex ambushes. Those are the ones where you’re ambushed on three sides,” he said. “The blinding lights and the deafening noise disorient you, but at those times, you have to rely on your training. We practiced every day what to do in those situations. We experienced the constant sounds of rockets and mortars. And I am proud to say that I never lost any of my people.”
After the military, he pursued an education career. For 10 years, he taught sociology and social studies at middle and high school levels, and he taught criminal justice as an adjunct professor at Delta State University.
He was living in his home state of Mississippi when he decided to move to Texas in 2010. He first landed in Arlington and then moved to Weatherford six months later.
After moving to Weatherford, he became involved in the Parker County Court Appointed Special Advocates program. CASA volunteers support children in foster care.
After extensive training, he became a volunteer four years ago and has handled cases for as many as 11 children at the same time. He currently is managing cases for seven children, aged 19 months to 18 years.
“I love what I do,” Burnett said. “I can make a difference. Giving back is very important to me.”
Burnett has six grown children and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from one year to 21 years old.