“Forever Loved, Never Forgotten”

The Navy Gold Star Program is eternally grateful for the sacrifice of those Service Members who have died in service to our country. To help us to never forget, we have set up this tribute page to honor and remember the memory of those lives. If you would like to honor the memory of your Sailor, Soldier, Marine, Airman or Coast Guardsman through the Navy Gold Star website please submit your thoughts and a photo.

AWS1 James Philip Buriak, USN died 31 August 2021 in a Naval helicopter crash LOOSEFOOT 616  off the coast of San Diego. Where he served as a naval aircrewman rescue swimmer (AWS) with HSC-8.

Jimmy was born, 09 May 1990 in Salem, VA. He graduated from Salem High School, Roanoke College in 2012 and joined the Navy in 2017. He spent time training in San Diego and Pensacola before being assigned to HSC-8 in Coronado, CA. He deployed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt for two back-to-back tours and multiple detachments before departing for his final flight on the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Jimmy was an uncommon man. He held qualities that could not be given but rather earned. He was an exemplary dad who loved his son Caulder, not only a husband but a soul mate to his wife, a beloved son and brother. Jimmy was an avid crossfitter who would put your endurance and strength to task. He prided himself on physical fitness and being able to not only protect his family, but others if needed. The best example of his courage, heroism, and ability to live up to the motto “So Others May Live '' is when he got his first save at Gun Beach, Guam 08 February 2020 while off duty and earned the Navy Commendation Medal. Jimmy loved his family and lived everyday like it was his last. He held his friends and family close and built memories that will last a lifetime.