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Marine Sgt. Zachary J. Walters

Died June 8, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Palm Coast, Fla.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died June 8 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield.

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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