- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. 1st Class William A. Zapfe
Died June 19, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
35, of Muldraugh, Ky.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died June 19 in Muhammad al Ali, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed was Pfc. Joshua S. Modgling.
Kentucky native killed when tank hit by bomb in Iraq
The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky native serving a third tour in Iraq was killed when his tank was hit by a roadside bomb, a family member said.
Sgt. 1st Class William Zapfe was riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when it ran over an improvised explosive device in Muhammad al Ali, Iraq, on June 19, said his sister-in-law, Angela Menchaca.
“His driver was killed and he was killed,” Menchaca said during a phone interview from the soldier’s home in Hinesville, Ga.
Zapfe, 35, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., the Department of Defense said in a statement. The military listed his home address as Muldraugh, which was where he lived while he was in the Army in Kentucky, Menchaca said.
“He was one of the greatest men in this world,” Menchaca said. “He was a perfect father, he was a perfect husband, and he loved and defended his country.”
Zapfe was born in Covington and joined the Army in 1991, serving the last 12 years at Fort Stewart, working as a combat engineer. He met his wife while stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., where he did tank training, Menchaca said. The couple has two sons and a daughter.
Zapfe was one month and eight days into his third tour in Iraq, Menchaca said. He had spent a total of nearly two years in the country on his first two tours, she said.
Menchaca said the family is planning to have a funeral service in Kentucky. Plans have not been finalized.
“His father is buried in [Grant County] Kentucky and that’s where we will take him to rest,” she said.
Zapfe made a career out the military, and “loved his job,” Menchaca said.
“He believed in all that he was doing was for a good cause,” she said.
Including Zapfe, 58 service members with hometowns of record in Kentucky have died in the Iraq war. Nearly 200 troops based at Fort Campbell on the Tennessee border also have been killed in the conflict, most of them from the 101st Airborne Division.
Kentucky-born soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest
The Associated Press
DRY RIDGE, Ky. — Friends and family members of a northern Kentucky soldier killed in Iraq paid tribute to him during a memorial service July 2.
Sgt. 1st Class William Zapfe, 35, was riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when it ran over an improvised explosive device in Muhammad al Ali, Iraq, last month. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga.
Zapfe was born in Covington and joined the Army in 1991, serving the last 12 years at Fort Stewart, working as a combat engineer. He met his wife while stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., where he did tank training. The couple have two sons and a daughter.
“He lived his life to serve others,” said Kevin Jackson, a former soldier who served with Zapfe. “He was as selfless a man as I’ve ever seen. That’s why these men wear these uniforms.”
Jackson said Zapfe served as a role model both as a soldier and a family man, The Kentucky Enquirer reported.
“His character was impeccable,” 1st Sgt. Gary Yeatts said.
Ken Strong, Zapfe’s uncle, recalled the last conversation he had with his nephew before his last deployment.
“Before he deployed, we said, ‘God, we appreciate what you do,’ ” Strong said. “I’m so glad we did that.”
Zapfe was buried next to his father at Hill Crest Cemetery.