CPL. ZACHERY WILFID MCCORMACK
MARCH 14, 1988 - DECEMBER 30, 2009
I would like to give you little background about Zach to get a feel of who he is. I say is because I know he is always here with me. Zach was born in Edmonton but grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta. From a young age of about ten, Zach showed interest in being a soldier. For Halloween his favorite costume was always a soldier. He called himself an army guy. Zach started wrestling in grade 8 and his last metal he won was a Gold Medal at the Canadian Championship in 2008.
Zach joined the Canadian Forces Reserves in 2006. Working, wrestling and now in the Reserves one evening a week and on Saturdays, Zach’s grades in school didn’t suffer. He was also in love. He also loved the outdoors, with camping and paintball two of his favorite activities. In 2008 Zach decided he would like to go to Afghanistan and do what he could do to help make a better life for their people and help make for a safer Canada. He said it was something he needed to do. At that time Zach had finished his first year as an apprentice to become an electrician. Zach spent the better part of 2009 training for Afghanistan and then taking off the month of August and taking the love of his life Nicole on a cruise where he proposed to her. She said yes. In October Zach deployed to Afghanistan. Zach had gone from being an army guy for Halloween to becoming a soldier. As parents we couldn’t have been more proud. We would talk just about every day on Skype, only to have him say when we asked about his day “ I can’t talk about it”. When it came to talking on the phone Zach never had a lot to say. He did say how much all the guys appreciated the surprises he got when my wife sent over goodies. The guys got a kick out of the Superman and Santa boxers my wife sent him. More of a cat person than a dog person Zach couldn’t help but saving a puppy from the Afghan kids when he traded the dog for a granola bar and a pencil.The morning of December 29, we were skiing in Golden when I decided to open my computer and see if Zach was online. He was and it was the longest talk I had with him.
He was upset because it had rained and his gun had gotten muddy. The one thing Zach took the most pride in was his gun and his boots. They had to be perfect. The next day changed our lives forever. Zach along with Sargent George Miok, Sergeant Kirk Taylor, and Private Garret Chidley were hit by an improvised explosive device. There was also a reporter Michelle Lang from the Calgary Herald who lost her life. Four others were injured.
One of Zach’s prized possessions was his 2002 GMC truck. We wanted to do something with the truck to preserve it for a long time, but also bring awareness for his life and the lives of all the soldiers who gave their life for the wellbeing and safety of others. We thought about doing a wrap but it wasn’t until my wife and I went to the unveiling of the Afghan Repatriation Memorial in Trenton in 2012 when we saw one of the Canadian Heroes Vehicles. With the help of Canadian Heroes, we have what we have now an amazing tribute to him and the three other soldiers we lost.
We will allways remember you.