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All active-duty and retired military members with ties to Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa are eligible to be profiled in Living Heroes. If you would like to nominate someone, please call (712) 325-5724 or email our newsroom at email@example.com 4 Generations Since 1922 ✔ Service & Repair ✔ Remodels Free Estimates! 322-6874 ABC ELECTRIC, INC. Tom & Annette Respeliers 5675 McPherson Ave 712-322-4590 No need to BEG for customers... advertise and they’ll come running! (712) 325 5700 Council Bluffs native uses military service, life to serve U.S., people Council Bluffs native and veteran Zachary (Zac) Butcher died nearly six months ago, at age 28. The Marine and Air Force veteran passed away from sepsis, after having seven surgeries within almost five weeks. “He had an innate sense of duty, honor, country, and all he wanted to do was serve. Whether it was military or law enforcement he wanted to serve the people of the U.S,” Butcher’s father, Brian Butcher, said. Brian had enlisted in the Air Force, but Zac felt drawn more to serving as a Marine after listening to the recruiters. “He listened to what the Air Force had to say, walked down to the Marine recruiters and told me ‘don’t be disappointed in me because I went down to the Marines,’” Brian said. “I said ‘I’m proud of you, you have to go your own path.’ Zac was a Marine through and through. I don’t think he would have been happy initially in the air force.” Zac went through basic training before he was stationed in Hawaii. Immediately, Zac was interested in the scout sniper position and passed the sniper indoctrination the first time. Zac was told he needed to wait, so he spent a year and a half as a machine gunner before passing the indoctrination a second time. The second time he was accepted and trained as a scout sniper. “As a sniper, Zac could regulate the beat of his heart so he could fire between the beat of his heart,” he said. “It was an overall sense of your body and target picture focus, you get so focused on your target and breathing that it just becomes second nature.” While in the Air Force, Brian had tried out for the swat team while on active duty and had been trained as a sniper. “I didn’t go looking for that, but Zac did. He had a goal in mind and achieved it,” Brian said. Zac had done this throughout his life, 3320 Mid America Dr. Council Bluffs, Iowa 322-0101 Missing out on these special salutes? Courtesy of Brian Butcher Zac Butcher Brian said. At St. Albert High School, Zac was a defensive lineman, and three-year starter in state, Brian said. “In the state semifinal game, he fell on his knee and had to have knee surgery in 2007,” he said. “He was so adamant about running track that he was on the track team and running sprints and meets in February.” In the military, he remained just as driven and reached acting as a sniper. He used this drive while stationed in the U.S. or abroad in areas like South Korea, the Philippians, or Australia. After his service reached four years, Zac expressed interest in serving in the Middle East. “I was in the air force and did a tour in the Middle East. I was called up on Sept. 11, 2001,” Brian said.“He wanted to basically finish the war we started.” Zac had wanted to serve in the Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance in the Middle East, but they were not accepting prior service Marines at the time. Following his previous pattern, Zac went to talk with the Air Force recruiter to get more information. The recruiter said the only thing he could qualify for was special operations as a former Marine. “There was a time span of a year or so, where he went into the Air Force and graduated as a TACP,” Brian said.“They discovered that he had a congenital heart disorder, and discharged him.” Zac was discharged from the Air Force after two years of service. He worked in Lincoln, Nebraska in corrections after being discharged and was in the selection process for the border patrol when he died. He was buried in the Omaha National Cemetery in April. Call Gay Snyder at 325-5704 for ad rates! 712-322-7779 www.cutleroneill.com 545 Willow Ave.