PORT ST LUCIE, FL, US
U.S. Marine Corps
CPL, WPNS CO, 1ST BN, 7TH MAR, RCT-7, 1ST MAR DIV, TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA
10/12/2004, AL ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ
CPL Zook had contemplated a spiritual life of service. He chose instead to pursue life serving his country in the military. Ian graduated valedictorian in 1999 from Faith Baptist Christian School. After a year at Bible college, Ian enlisted in the Marine Corps.
Mark Zook, CPL Zook’s father, a corporal with the Florida Highway Patrol, described his son: He was a unique individual, his wit was uncanny.. Mark Zook explained that just the month before, Ian narrowly escaped death when his Humvee ran over a mine when he was going to rescue wounded soldiers. CPL Zook took the time to send his family pictures of everything, especially the sunsets in the desert. He had recently been promoted to the rank of Marine corporal. Ian called his family to say that now we have two corporals in the family. I was very proud. Ian is also survived by his mother, Karen.
“I’ve never been so proud of anyone in my life,”explained Terry Brent, Ian’s friend since they were 6 years old. “He was definitely the greatest friend I’ve ever had. He kept our friendship up even though miles separated us.”
In September, CPL Zook while driving a Humvee, hit an anti-tank mine. The front half of the vehicle was blown off. Ian suffered minor injuries, another Marine lost a leg. CPL Zook’s friend Kimel Brent explained that (Ian) “He was so calm about it. He was proud to go over there and serve his country. That was a great testament to his character.”
Folding the flag during the military internment service for CPL Zook, CPL Justin Jett realized this task was very important. CPL Jett had folded a flag before as part of his regular duties — but he never thought he would be doing it for a high school classmate, his friend.
“I know his parents will have that flag forever,” CPL Jett concluded.
LTC Peter Ahern described CPL Zook “not only a stellar human being but also a stellar Marine. He is exactly what we in the Marine Corps would think Americans would expect in a Marine: honorable, brave and loving.”