Zachary J Walters
Palm Coast, Florida
June 8, 2010
Killed while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Marine Corps Sgt. Zachary J. Walters honored in dignified transfer June 10
Walters, Zachary Sgt. Zachary J. Walters, 2nd BN, 6th Marines (78th), 2nd Marine Division, passed away Tuesday, June 8, 2010 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was born May 24, 1986. He was preceded in death by his uncle Christopher Scott Walters. He is survived by his parents Kelly J. Walters of Irving, and Regina M. Walters of Decatur; grandparents Joe and Bobbie Walters of Irving; grandmother Lore Miner of Decatur; brother Dwayne Patrick Adair of Decatur; aunts and uncles Norma and Harvey Merritt of Alvarado, Nell and Al Berry of Mesquite, Ramona and Tony McCollough of Peculiar, Missouri, Rebecca and Mark Ireland of Alvord, Texas, and Tom and Ann Miner of Decatur; and numerous cousins. He also leaves behind his fiancé Vickie L. Falcon of Jacksonville, North Carolina. Memorial services will be held at 1 PM Friday, June 18, 2010 at Brown's Memorial Chapel. Inturnment services with Full Military Honors will follow at 3 PM at DFW National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Pkwy. in Dallas. His family requests donations to Wounded Warriors, PMB 48, Western Blvd., Suite E, Jacksonville, NC 28546 or www.carepackageproject.com.
|From The St. Augustine Record staugustine.com 06/11/10:
Local Marine dies in Afghanistan
Posted: June 11, 2010 - 12:12am
By TRACEY McMANUS
An e-mail he received in Afghanistan gave Sgt. Zachary J. Walters of Palm Coast the answer he had been hoping for.
Thomas Zoblisien wrote the 24-year-old Marine last week, giving him permission to marry his daughter, Victoria Falcon.
She was ready to say yes, but the proposal would never come.
Walters, 24, died Tuesday in the desert of Afghanistan before being able to ask her.
He was killed by a roadside bomb alongside Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield, 22, of Hastings, Pa. Both men were part of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Officials from the Camp Lejeune base called the accident "a result of a hostile incident." Walters' grandmother, Bobbie M. Walters, called it an act of heroism.
She said her only grandson was leading his platoon through a training exercise along with the Afghan army when Walters stepped on the bomb. It was during his third week of what was meant to be a seven-month mission.
"When (officers) came to my door, it was, like, 'Are you sure this is not a mistake? This can't be happening,'" she said by phone from her home in Irving, Texas.
She said even knowing the dangers of war, Walters never doubted his dedication to the military.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps the day after he graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School in 2005. Although not from a military family, Walters passed up college scholarships and job offers to serve his country.
"He just knew he wanted to be in the service," she said. "He felt like he was doing what he thought was right. He loved the Marines, and the Marines loved him."
Walters received boot camp training in North Carolina before his first deployment overseas in 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From August 2008 to March 2009 Walters helped protect the American Embassy near Somalia, his grandmother said.
His deployment May 20 was his first trip to Afghanistan but one that his grandmother said Walters was more than ready for. He e-mailed often and promised to call his grandmother's house in Texas sometime next week.
That house was Walters' home base throughout a life of constant travel. He was born in Saudi Arabia on May 24, 1986, when his father's contracting work took the family overseas.
Walters lived in Texas, Mississippi and Indiana before moving to Palm Coast for high school.
Once there, he immediately joined the Junior ROTC program, where his instructor, Chief Master Sgt. Jim Wainscott, said he showed a natural talent.
"Right from the start that's what he wanted to do," Wainscott said. "He always took seriously wearing the uniform, whereas many other students don't. ... He was just a good solid kid that did well."
Besides life in the military, Walters liked to surf on Daytona Beach, climb mountains out of state and read about aviation. Falcon said her boyfriend had a sarcastic sense of humor and a passion for fast cars.
Waiting for him in Texas is a dark blue 2008 Mustang and a black 1987 Mustang.
"He was really proud of that," Falcon said.
Back in Texas, Walters' family said they never expected his homecoming would be so hard. His mother, Regina, traveled to Dover, Del., Thursday to collect her son's body for his burial at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery next week.
It will be a homecoming his grandmother said Walters had prepared himself for all along.
"When he left in May, I told him, 'Zach, I'm worried about you,'" she said. "He said, 'Nana, please don't worry about me. ...If it's my time to go, I know where I'm going to spend eternity.'"
|Palm Coast Marine killed in Afghanistan
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Marine Sgt. Zachary J. Walters, 24, of Palm Coast, Fla., died Tuesday in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Walters was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Walters’ grandmother Bobbie Walters, said tonight that Walters was her only grandchild and was more like a son, than grandson.
“He was such a wonderful young man. There’s such a hole in my heart,” said Walters.
He graduated from Palm Coast High School five years ago. The day after graduation at age 19, she said, he joined the Marines. After serving five years, he decided to commit another four years.
“He said ‘Nana I love it’. He had just re-upped four more years. He wasn’t gone two weeks and could’ve been out but he chose to stay,” said Walters.
Walters was home in May and had only been deployed for two weeks when he stepped on an IED.
“He said ‘please don’t worry about me. I’ve had the best training in the world. I’m good at my job, been promoted you know? And if it’s my time, if it’s my day, I know where I’m going to spend eternity’,” said Walters.
Bobbie Walters said today she still is in disbelief. Details on his burial aren’t final yet.
Walters will be laid to rest at the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery, close to where his family now lives.
|Loved muscle cars, mountain climbing, surfing
The Associated Press
Zachary Walters liked a lot of things that give people an adrenaline rush: surfing on Daytona Beach in Florida. Climbing mountians. Fast cars.
In fact, he had two Ford Mustang muscle cars waiting for him at home. One was a dark blue 2008 model; the other a black 1987 model.
“He was really proud of that,” said his girlfriend, Victoria Falcon.
Walters, 24, of Palm Coast, Fla., was killed June 8 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. His grandmother Bobbie M. Walters said he was leading his platoon through a training exercise with Afghan forces when he stepped on a bomb. Another Marine also died in the blast. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The Marine had planned to ask Falcon to marry him — he’d just gotten the blessing to pop the question from Falcon’s father, Thomas Zoblisien. He died before he had the chance.
Walters got his start in the Junior ROTC program at Flagler Palm Coast High School, the school he graduated from in 2005. His instructor said he always took the uniform seriously, and that stuck with him when he passed up scholarships and job offers to join the military.
“He just knew he wanted to be in the service,” Bobbie Walters said. “He felt like he was doing what he thought was right.”
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