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Army Sgt. Zachary W. McBride

Died January 9, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Bend, Ore.; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Vilseck, Germany.; died Jan. 9 in Sinsil, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during combat operations. Also killed were Spc. Todd E. Davis, Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Pionk and Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders.

Bend soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

BEND, Ore. —Army Spc. Zachary McBride of Bend was one of six soldiers killed by a bomb north of Baghdad, the Oregon Military Department said late Thursday.

The soldiers were conducting a house-to-house mission Wednesday when a bomb exploded in a house in Diyala, said Kay Fristad, a department spokeswoman. Four other soldiers were wounded.

McBride is the fourth Central Oregon service member killed in Iraq in the past year and a half. Two civilians with ties to the area also have died in the wars of the Middle East since 2004.

McBride, 20, joined the Army shortly after graduating in 2005 from Mountain View High School, where he was a student in Ana Ebeling’s advanced chemistry class.

“With his scores, he could have gotten scholarships and gone to any college, but it was his dream to be a soldier,” Ebeling told KTVZ-TV in Bend.

“In fact, the Army has a test, and he scored so high, they wanted him to be an officer. But he just wanted to be a soldier. It was his dream.”

Ebeling said McBride was quiet and “sort of unemotional. But under that surface, he was so funny and giving.”

Mountain View senior Clayton Mansfield said the school is putting together a memorial for the soldiers who lost their lives serving the U.S.

McBride’s sister, Sarah, currently attends Mountain View. She was overjoyed when her brother returned for a visit in November.

“Sarah is a really nice girl. She’s in my class. She didn’t deserve this,” Mansfield said.

While in high school, McBride was involved with youth ministry at Eastmont Church and did mission trips to serve children in Ireland.

“He really cared for kids,” said John Lodwick, pastor at the church, where McBride’s father, Marshall McBride, helps lead services.

Lodwick told The Oregonian newspaper that church members have rallied around the McBrides. “There will always be a hole there that won’t be filled this side of heaven,” he said.

Friends, family remember Oregon soldier slain in Iraq

The Associated Press

BEND, Ore. — Army officials said Sgt. Zachary McBride, 20, was an exemplary soldier who chose to be at the tip of the spear in a war zone at his memorial service Jan. 19.

But longtime friend Joel Moore said McBride’s quiet exterior hid a wicked sense of humor, recalling how they snuck into a friend’s bedroom once to rearrange all her furniture.

In some ways, the service held at Eastmont Church reflected the man himself — quiet and serious with flashes of levity and deep faith.

Roughly 400 people gathered to honor McBride’s memory and mourn with his family. A small crowd also gathered at the Oregon Army National Guard Armory, where the service was simulcast.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden spoke at the service.

In the sanctuary of the church, a red wreath and a portrait of McBride stood next to the flag-draped coffin. His boots, rifle, dog tags and helmet were on the stage.

McBride was killed this month, along with five other soldiers, when a booby-trapped house exploded in Sinsil, Iraq.

His family accepted his Bronze Star for meritorious service, the Purple Heart and induction into the honorary Order of the Spur.

McBride was the 102nd soldier from Oregon or with close Oregon ties to die in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a list maintained by the Oregon governor’s office.

“I have no doubt, given his love for family, community, church and nation, Sergeant Zachary McBride would want us to lean on his strength, were he here today,” Kulongoski said.

Walden said McBride’s efforts to make a difference continued until the day he died.

McBride was part of an effort to seize weapons and explosives caches linked to al-Qaida, Walden said.

The Rev. John Lodwick and Moore spoke about the man beneath the uniform.

Lodwick said McBride craved knowledge, studying geography, history and science.

McBride spoke of studying political science in college after he completed his tour, Lodwick said.

Though he was a soldier, McBride had a profound gentleness, Moore said.

While they did not speak during the service, his parents, Marshall and Laurie McBride, and his sister, Sarah McBride, personally thanked many who attended.

Bend resident Bill Ham said he knew Zachary McBride when he ran cross-country at Mountain View High School. “I don’t think any of us has a chance to do any better than our best, and Zack gave his all,” said.

A slide show during the service showed McBride as a chubby-cheeked baby and went through photographs of him growing up, ending with pictures of McBride in uniform.

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