Hawaiian NCO reservist, resident lives out his dream

| November 11, 2010 | 2 Comments

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Raymond Quintanilla
305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Staff Sgt. Tim Burton, reservist with the 322nd Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to the 1st Infantry Division, has appeared as an extra on the television show “Lost” for the last three seasons, before the season finale. Burton also works as an official NFL photographer, and he has traveled to approximately 20 different countries. BASRA, Iraq — A small-scale television star, a professional freelance photographer and a civil affairs noncommissioned officer with U.S. Division-South, Staff Sgt. Tim Burton is a many-faceted individual. 

Burton is a Mililani resident, and he is a reservist with the 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, attached to the 1st Infantry Division, here, as the Commanders Emergency Response Program noncommissioned officer in charge.

Burton proudly serves in the Army with 19 years under his belt, and although his current assignment isn’t nearly as glamorous as was hanging out on the set of “Lost,” he considers it just as fulfilling. 

Burton spends at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week, helping U.S. units in southern Iraq with paperwork needed to complete essential construction and development projects for the Iraqi people.

“Being an extra on “Lost” was just living another chapter of my life,” Burton said. “What I’m doing now – serving my country, being a photographer, traveling, living adventurously – has always been my purpose in life, second to family.”

The former air defense artillery Soldier said he never had any interest in pursuing acting. He just stumbled on the job as an extra while doing some photography work for a modeling and acting agency. 

Burton, who settled in Hawaii more than 20 years ago, had appeared as an extra on the television show “Lost” for the last three seasons, before the season finale. 

“Everything has been a stepping stone,” Burton said. “By photographing celebrities for the mayor of Honolulu, it led to bigger assignments, eventually for an agency with a leading client such as ‘Lost.’

“I thought it would be fun and interesting,” he said. “It’s been an adventure (since then).”

As humble as they come, Burton also works as an official NFL photographer, and he has traveled to approximately 20 different countries. In his travels, he has also photographed Bob Hope, John Denver, Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt. 

As if his plate were not full enough, Burton chose to work part-time for Hawaiian Airlines, which complements his travel photography.

During one active duty period, Burton was also part of a team attempting to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, by executing push-ups for 24 hours. He did approximately 10,000 push-ups himself.

“We were on the news, published in ‘Muscle & Fitness’ magazine and got a great experience from the whole thing,” Burton said.

Category: Deployed Forces, News

Comments (2)

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  1. Raymond Quintanilla says:

    I am the journalist who interviewed and wrote about SSG Burton. Somehow through the editing portion of this story, two errors were made. The 322nd is a Civil Affairs Brigade, not Battalion and SSG Burton, did approximately 10,000 push-ups himself, not the team (teams number is unknown).

  2. Hawaii Army Weekly says:

    Thanks SGT Quintanilla,

    We have made the corrections.

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