- NATO Kosovo Force
- 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 Spc. Zachary A. Grass
Died June 16, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
22, of Beach City, Ohio; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died June 16 in Rashidiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle was struck an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Sgt. Danny R. Soto.
Northeast Ohio soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
BEACH CITY, Ohio — A 22-year-old soldier from northeast Ohio was killed in Iraq in a roadside bombing of his vehicle, his father said.
Zachary Grass was killed June 16, his father, Frank Grass, said June 17. The Department of Defense confirmed the death June 18.
“We had gone to a car show [June 16],” Frank Grass said. “When we returned home, that’s when the military was here.”
The family lives near this town 15 miles southwest of Canton.
Zachary Grass was a 2003 graduate of Fairless High School, where he played guard on the basketball team and pitched and played third base in baseball.
“He was a kid always willing to do whatever it took to help the team, a pretty selfless kid,” said basketball coach Matt Kramer, who learned June 17 of Grass’ death.
“You study wars in books and you don’t get the personal side because fatalities become statistics. But it hits home that these are real people when somebody calls you on a Sunday afternoon and tells you one of your former players died in Iraq,” Kramer said.
Grass enlisted in the Army in 2005 and was stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash., as part of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Earlier this year while on leave from the Army, Grass visited his former high school teachers and coaches.
“I said, ‘Good luck and stay safe,’ ” former baseball coach David Fogle said. “I was very proud to hear he went into the service.”
Soldiers from Houston, Round Rock killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Two Texas soldiers, including an Army reservist from Round Rock, have died from wounds suffered in an explosion in Iraq, the Defense Department said June 18.
Spc. Dustin R. Brisky, 26, of Round Rock, died June 14 in Tallil. He was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 952nd Engineer Company in Paris, Texas.
The unit was attached to the 92nd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart, Ga.
On June 16, two soldiers died after an explosion near their vehicle in Rashidiyah. Killed were Army Sgt. Danny R. Soto, 24, of Houston, and Army Spc. Zachary A. Grass, 34, of Beach City, Ohio.
Both were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.
Also, Staff Sgt. Michael Bechert of New Castle, Ind., died June 14 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Bechert, 27, was wounded when his vehicle struck an explosive device May 30 in Baghdad.
Bechert was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division based in Schweinfurt, Germany.
Family recalls soldier killed in Iraq as natural leader
The Associated Press
Army Spc. Zachary A. Grass was a guard for his high school basketball team, and was known for doing whatever he could to help the close-knit team win.
“He was a great personality,” basketball coach Matt Kramer recalled. “Sometimes, younger kids have a hard time relating to their elder coaches, but Zach was personable. He always had a smile and a joke at the right time. He was a great kid to have in the locker room.”
Grass, 34, of Beach City, Ohio, was killed June 16 when his vehicle hit by bomb in Rashidiyah, Iraq. He was a 2003 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash.
“This is a kid who was a natural-born leader among his peers,” said Larry Chambliss, his former principal.
He also pitched and played third base for the baseball team.
“He was a kid always willing to do whatever it took to help the team, a pretty selfless kid,” said Kramer.
He is survived by his parents, Frank and Patti. Grass called them “Madre and Padre” since studying Spanish in school.
Before he left for Iraq, he assured his mother that everything would be fine. “He said, ‘Madre, it’s just my job I have to do and it will be OK. I’ll be fine.’ ”