Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Zach Clouser remembered by dad

Kevin Clouser said as soon as his son, Zachary Clouser, turned 12 years old, he started taking him hunting.

Father and son hunted pheasant and dove in York County, and they often went upstate to hunt deer.

"I took him out (hunting) as much as I could," Kevin Clouser said.

So for the past year while Zachary Clouser was serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army and would call his dad back home in West York, the conversation would often come back to hunting.

"He was looking forward to coming home soon to do a little deer hunting," Kevin said. "He was going to be home some time in September, in time for deer season."

But on July 18, Spc. Zachary Clouser, 19, was killed in Adhamiyah, Iraq, when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. Three other soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 26th infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team in the 1st Infantry Division with Clouser were also killed in the attack.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, a funeral service will be held for Zachary Clouser at Bible Baptist Church, 4190 N. Susquehanna Trail, Conewago Township. A visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and after the funeral service there will be a celebration of life tribute in the church's gymnasium. Clouser is being cremated, and his mother, Debra Etheridge of Dover, will keep
his remains at home.

Zachary Clouser graduated from Dover Area High School in 2005, and his father said he wasn't surprised when Zachary enlisted in the Army in September of that year. Kevin said Zachary had been talking about it for a while.

After basic training, Kevin said, Zachary was stationed in Germany and had been in Iraq for about a year before he was killed.

He said he had just talked to his son two days before Zachary died.

"I was worried about him over there," Kevin said. "But I was getting two to three calls from him a week. ... He was doing a job that he had to do. I was very proud of him. I'm always going to be very proud of my son."

Zachary is also survived by stepmother Ginger Asper-Clouser of West York and stepfather Ronald Etheridge of Dover. He's also survived by his siblings, Megan Williams and husband Shawn, Ronald Etheridge Jr., Matthew Asper, Shaleana Etheridge, Sean Etheridge and Zachary Asper.

From the York Dispatch

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Zach Clouser remembered

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Zachary Clouser reported killed in Iraq