Soldier in Focus - Spc. Zachary
July 21, 2009
BAGHDAD - Spc. Shaheed Zachary currently serves as a truck commander for the military police platoon assigned to 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division on Joint Security Station War Eagle, north of Baghdad.
The MPs have a very significant and unorthodox mission this deployment. They play a vital role in escorting and providing the necessary security to the Infrastructure Coordination Element (ICE) as they develop Iraqi capacity and deliver essential services to the people of Iraq.
Zachary, a 24 year-old Houston native states about the military "I fell in love with the Army; it's pushed me to levels I never thought I could go."
Tell me about your first name, Shaheed'
"It's an Islamic name meaning one who sacrifices or one who is a martyr. My father, who is Islamic, named me and all my siblings with different Islam-derived names."
It sounds like you have a good relationship with your father, were you two close'
"Yes, I remember growing up; I and my father would watch boxing together. I actually named my son after my favorite boxer of all time, Ali, which is also an Islamic name."
What is your son, Ali, like'
"Well, he will be seven very soon. He loves video games and his daddy. He's a very smart kid whose light impacts all the kids around him. I know every parent says this, but I truly believe that he will be someone very special one day and he is going to make an impact somewhere."
How do you keep up with him with the Army pace'
"That actually is why I don't know what exactly I'm going to do when we redeploy. I've heard my son grow up on the phone for the past seven years, and I don't want to do that anymore. I'm exploring my options and might take my brother up on his offer to open a business together selling cars."
What is something interesting about you that no one really knows'
"My mother is Mexican and I always heard Spanish being spoken. So when I was 14, I decided that I wanted to learn a second language. So I taught myself German and can speak it fluently. I wanted to pick one that would just surprise people."
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time'
"In my spare time I am either at the gym, writing or reading. I love to read; I read a lot of autobiographies, famous literature, plays etc., anything that will stimulate my mind and challenge me mentally."
What was your childhood like'
"I grew up rough. But living where I was, one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the U.S.; I was around a lot of different types of people. I learned a lot from the people in the area. Everything I experienced made me who I am today. I knew that my story wasn't going to end there though."