Keller Citizen

Keller girl seeks to help homeless veterans

Bryton Burkhalter, a 7-year-old from Keller, plans to distribute special bags of health and hygiene items to veterans in need.
Bryton Burkhalter, a 7-year-old from Keller, plans to distribute special bags of health and hygiene items to veterans in need. Star-Telegram

A family discussion about homeless people led 7-year-old Keller girl Bryton Burkhalter to come up with a special way to honor former military service men and women in need.

A few months ago, mom Adriana Burkhalter found some inexpensive canvas bags with a military theme while out shopping. Soon after that, Burkhalter was driving Bryton and sons Byron and Zack when they saw homeless people by the road. A discussion about how some veterans end up homeless prompted Bryton to ask about helping them.

The mother and daughter made a list and went shopping—with Bryton putting in money from her allowance— to buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, soap, lip balm, tissues, bottled water, plastic cups and snacks. Bryton put together about 20 packages.

“I’m going to give them to the veterans that are homeless,” Bryton said.

Neighbor and Keller City Councilman Ed Speakmon offered to help Bryton by finding a place nearby to give out the bags. Speakmon is a veteran of the Marines.

Speakmon said he’d arranged for Marine recruiters from Keller to accept some bags to give to veterans in need. He also accompanied Bryton on Veterans Day to visit veterans at Evergreen senior living apartments in Keller and give them some of the bags.

The armed forces are an important part of family history, Adriana Burkhalter said. Bryton’s grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather all served in the military.

The second-grader at the International Leadership Texas-Keller charter school hopes to follow the family tradition and be an engineer in the Navy.

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