Fallen military medic returns home

8:43 PM, Nov 29, 2012   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The body of an Army Medic, Zachary Shanafelt, who died from his injuries after an accident in Afghanistan, arrived at Gerald Ford International Airport. 

Zachary Shanafelt died last week, a year after he was injured overseas. It ended a life of military achievement.

From an early age Shanafelt excelled in the military world starting with his time in the ROTC. For his Creston High School mentor, Colonel Don Robinson, it's a personal loss.

Robinson says Shanafelt showed an interest in the military at an early age, excelling all four years in the ROTC. 

Robinson says, "Certainly it's easy to remember your battalion commander, of course he was great, he had to be great, he wouldn't have gotten that position if he wasn't." 

For Robinson, the loss hits close to home. He became a teacher after losing his own son. Shanafelt was one of his first battalion commanders. Robinson has this advice for the family, knowing the struggle of loss first hand-- 

"I would sit in my car arguing with God, how he'd done such a terrible thing, they need to do that too. Then they need to remember some of the fun they had with Zach." 

Visitation is at Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford from 7 to 9.
His funeral is Friday at 11.

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