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Post Troop Trail dedicated PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 January 2008
By Allison Choike
GUIDON staff

• Two-and-a-half miles named for chemical Soldier
Thousands of Soldiers run the main Troop Trail on post every year, and part of it was dedicated to a fallen Soldier, Friday, memorializing his love for physical fitness and dedication to the Army and the Chemical Corps.

 Sgt. 1st Class Mickey Zaun was recognized in a ceremony that dedicated the first two-and-half miles of the Troop Trail running from the corner of Iowa Avenue and South Dakota Avenue to the installation's water tower.

Zaun, 27, died in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Jan. 28, 2005, from injuries sustained during a head-on collision of two armored vehicles, near Mosul, Iraq.

Family, friends and fellow comrades gathered to pay tribute to a chemical Soldier who was devoted to the Army and eventually followed his dream to become a Special Forces Soldier.

The United States Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School commandant and regimental command sergeant major came up with the idea to name the trail in honor of Zaun because of his decorated career and love for physical fitness.   

"Zaun really represented the (chemical) corps well in his duties in being a team member in special operations. He went above and beyond the call of any Soldier, in which the mission he took on as a 74 Delta," said Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston, USACBRNS.

Alston said Zaun never said "no" to a mission that was presented to him, and doing something special at Fort Leonard for him was something that needed to be done.

"This kid never said no to anything that the corps asked him to do ... we just knew in our hearts the right thing to do was to make sure that we left a legacy in the means of some tangible substance for his name to be carried on," Alston said.

Alston said Zaun's family was touched by the idea and believe that his legacy will help to motivate other Soldiers.

"I was overjoyed when I heard about this idea. I thought, 'oh my gosh, they love my boy.' My boy really loved his job. So all of this is really a treat for me," said Cheryl Zaun, Mickey's mother.

Cheryl said her son always wanted to be in the Army, even as a small child playing with G.I Joe action figures.

Soldiers running
Soldiers from the Chemical Basic and Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course are the first to run on the newly dedicated Sgt. 1st Class Mickey E. Zaun Memorial Troop Trail, Jan. 25. Photo by Allison Choike.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, USACBRNS commandant, said because of Zaun's actions and those like him, there are fewer threats to our nation and world today.

"Sgt. 1st Class Zaun died a hero, although if he were with us today, he would just shake his head and say, ' I was just doing my job.' Then he would probably name a dozen other Soldiers he thought deserved recognition instead. This is the kind of man he was, modest, generous and always putting the lives of Soldiers in front of his own," Spoehr said.

Cheryl agreed.

"I know that he is smiling down from heaven and probably thinking what the big fuss is all about," Cheryl said.

Overall, Spoehr said he wants younger Soldiers going through one of their most life-altering changes, basic training, to be motivated by a Soldier like Zaun.

"I am convinced that they (Soldiers) will draw strength from his example. Sgt. 1st Class Zaun loved the military, and was an inspiration to other in his pursuit of physical fitness. I can think of no better area on this installation to dedicate to his memory," Spoehr said. "He will live forever in the hearts of his family, friends and comrades, and now with this trail's dedication, he will become known to others."
Last Updated ( Friday, 01 February 2008 )
Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008

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