His experience spans the globe from military operations to hundreds of rescue and recovery missions. They also include heartwarming humanitarian missions in places like Haiti, Nicaragua and Burma. In these videos David shares some of the most impactful life changing moments.
"It is all about loving, learning, listening, laughing and lifting those around us." - David
A child of war torn Burma and my friend
This is a heartwarming story of a young boy who became my little buddy and shadow in war torn Burma (Myanmar) during a humanitarian mission to the besieged Karen Army. Only two of us went to this remote location to help assist in combat medical training to the medics of one of the brigades of this small army that has been fighting since the end of world war 2. Love has no cultural or language barriers. This is a tribute to my little friend NO DU TU and the Karen army. May they all one day live in peace.
Japan earthquake and tsunami recovey mission
David went to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami to help the people of Japan. He packed his gear, steadied his feet and bought a plane ticket and simply went to Tokyo in an attempt to help. The 747 wide body flight to Tokyo was virtually empty and there was lots of time to think and rest before the mission would become a gritty reality. This is an inside look into the work to assist thousands of missing and dead after the devastating and earthquake and tsunami.
Overrun in a food drop in Haiti
While serving and a contractor in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake I was on a food drop with the 82nd Airborne Division and we were overrun. This is the story of that day on the complexities of an event that happens quickly without warning and the dynamics of being prepared for something that is already happening.
Search for a 3 year old Abducted Child in HAITI
Gangs, rescue, medical aid, bodyguards, abduction, evil, heartwarming children, angles and demons. This is a true story that is about two special operations veterans that went to Haiti after the brutal earthquake in 2010 to protect doctors and nurses in what was then the largest natural disaster in recorded history. On top of protecting the doctors and nurses, they were asked to find an abducted Haitian three year old American boy who had been ransomed after being taken from a church meeting on a Sunday. This is the gritty real world story of that mission in a first hand account from David Burnell who was the Chief of Security for the largest volunteer Task Force to go to the beleaguered island and help.
Under the ice body recovery
Leaving no one behind is such a powerful topic, especially when we risk the living for the presumed dead. This is a true story of a Dive Rescue Team recovering the body of a young man who went through the ice in a dune buggy in a black water lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota on an icy spring day.
Aircraft and body recovery
This is a short story of a very dangerous mission to recover the bodies of two men and an Aircraft in the mountains of Wyoming in a cold and icy November. Instructors from Dive Rescue International were called from around the country to this small town where a plane had crashed while attempting to land on the lake. David Burnell was one of the Instructors called and performed one of the recoveries. This is his story.
Burma mission to the Karen Army
In 2012 I went on a mission with a former Green Beret and Vietnam Veteran to deliver the fourth phase of a combat medical program to the Karen Army in Burma. It is ALL actual video I shot while in country. There is no war footage so it is G rated and safe for all. I focus on the people of this nation who struggle for freedom and life and not the rough stuff which was all around. It was a truly awesome experience to relive some of the moments with this beautiful people.
Alabama Tornado Search & Rescue Mission
David went to Alabama to help with Search & Rescue efforts after the record tornado(s) that hit the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas. Many small towns were wiped away and the path of this EF4 tornado left an 80 mile long and 3 mile wide swath. It hit at 200MPH and was one of the most costly tornados in history.
Special Operations Little Bird Water Egress
On a cold fall day with snow on the mountains David Burnell went to Utah Lake with former 160th Special Operations and trained the Jordanian Special Operations Little Bird Pilots and trained a friendly nation in down pilot water egress. The day before this training dry runs were performed in an aircraft hanger on the ladder. Prior to that David was in the pool with them doing dunk tank drills with emergency underwater aircraft escape drills with bailout oxygen bottles. Fred Horsley a renown Special Operations pilot and former Green Beret was David's pilot. Fred died while training for missions in Afghanistan in 2013. R.I.P. Brother.
Urban Training for a Deploying Army Unit
I was asked to train up a deploying Army Unit at Camp Williams in Utah. We did assaults and Mobile Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Wonderful soldiers and I love them ALL!