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Voice Of The Hawks

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 26, 2013 at 07:07 PM

SEFFNER - The lights will come up around 7 p.m. and a voice will ring out over Lyle Flagg Field: 'Welcome to tonight's game between Armwood and Plant. ...'

The voice of the Hawks.

Bruce Burnham.

On the press box table before him will be statistics, records, trivia questions and a depth chart (not a list but a schematic) with name pronunciations - all of which he will have compiled and practiced announcing.

'And I'll be happy,' Burnham said. 'I'll be pumped up.'

Burnham, who turned 55 Wednesday, said every game, and for that matter every day at Armwood, is a big deal.

Partly because every day, he said, he recalls Vietnam.

Draft No. 37, he left his 6-month-old daughter and wife for Vietnam in 1971, a year after graduating from King High.

A year later he came home and struggled 'tremendously' until 1986 when he started teaching history at Armwood. This year he teaches three classes on the Vietnam War.

'I do it for the 58,219 who didn't come home,' he said. 'I do it because I learned that something positive can come out of teaching kids from my experience.'

Then he grins, the same grin he has while announcing Armwood's homecomings and proms; the same grin he has singing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' during the fifth inning of Armwood baseball games, which he has announced for 10 years; and yes, the same grin he'll have tonight.

'My first year I called football games we won the state title,' Burnham said. 'Armwood coach Sean Callahan said I was never allowed to quit after that.

'Well, that's just fine with me.'

Grinning.

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