Mr. Burke served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1969. During that time, he served in the Republic of Vietnam with a variety of units. In recognition of his service, he received the National Defense Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and the Vietnam Service Medal with 6 Battle Stars, to name a few. He attained the rank of Sgt. during his service period.
He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1979 at Post 1895 in Schenectady, New York. He became a Life Member in 1989 and currently maintains his Legacy Gold Life Membership at Post 1895 in Schenectady, New York. At the Post level, he held many of the Post Positions and Post Commander for 2 years receiving All-State Post Commander. Hal served as the County Council Commander receiving All-State County Council Commander and then served as District Commander and received All-State District Commander honors and was an All-American District Commander.
Hal was elected as State Commander in June 2003. He was next elected as Department Quartermaster and served in that position from June 2005 to June 2009. He was next elected as Department Judge Advocate from 2013 to 2016. In June 2014 Hal was appointed as the Department Adjutant and continues to serve in that capacity.
At the National level, Hal has held many appointed positions to include the National By-Law Committee which he served on from 2005-2016.
Hal was elected National Judge Advocate General, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, at the organization's 114th National Convention in Louisville, KY on July 24, 2013.
Hal was inducted into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame on May 15, 2018.
He has received his Associates of Arts degree in Fire Protection Technology and Fire Science, as well as an Associates degree in Accounting.
Mr. Burke was a Safety Professional and retired after 38 years with Lockheed Martin Corporation retiring in 2005. He continues to maintain the financial records at his son Andrew business – ABs Automotive and Performance.
He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, the Cooties and the Elks. He has been a volunteer fire fighter from 1973 to 2016 when he retired.
Mr. Burke has been married to his wife Carol for 48 years and they have two sons, Harold III and Andrew and two grandchildren, Abigail, who is 4 years old and Theodore who is 2 years old.