Sunday, June 24, 2007

William A. Zapfe dies 'of wounds sustained when an IED detonated near his vehicle'

A Kentucky native based at Fort Stewart, Ga., and serving a third tour in Iraq was killed when his tank was hit by a roadside bomb, a family member said.

Sgt. 1st Class William Zapfe was riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when it ran over an improvised explosive device in Muhammad al Ali, Iraq, on Tuesday, said his sister-in-law, Angela Menchaca.

"His driver was killed and he was killed," Menchaca said during a phone interview from the soldier's home in Hinesville, Ga.

Zapfe, 35, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, the Department of Defense said in a statement. The military listed his home address as Muldraugh, which was where he lived while he was in the Army in Kentucky, Menchaca said.

"He was one of the greatest men in this world," Menchaca said. "He was a perfect father, he was a perfect husband, and he loved and defended his country."

Zapfe was born in Covington and joined the Army in 1991, serving the last 12 years at Fort Stewart, working as a combat engineer. He met his wife while stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., where he did tank training, Menchaca said. The couple has two sons and a daughter.

Zapfe was one month and eight days into his third tour in Iraq, Menchaca said. He had spent a total of nearly two years in the country on his first two tours, she said.

Menchaca said the family is planning to have a funeral service in Kentucky. Plans have not been finalized.

"His father is buried in (Grant County) Kentucky and that's where we will take him to rest," she said.

Zapfe made a career out the military, and "loved his job," Menchaca said.

"He believed in all that he was doing was for a good cause," she said.

From News 4