As told by his beautiful wife Neidy:
"Sgt. Zachary Hess (his current rank) enlisted in the Marine Corps on October 19, 2008. He’s always been a family guy (he’s one out of 10 kids!), so the enlistment was quite the adjustment. He focused all his efforts into becoming the best LAV (Light Armored Vehicle) driver that he possibly could.
He had been in the Marine Corps for a little over a year before they informed him that he would be deploying for the first time. He had a day to prepare before he went into pre deployment training. (At this point I had been dating him for a couple months.) A couple months later, he was in Afghanistan serving his first tour. He was gone until Thanksgiving of 2010.
It was a very successful tour; they had done their jobs and they had all come back before the holidays. Zach soon found out that he was deploying again…in 11 months. We soon married and we found out that we were expecting our first child after that. Preparation for that deployment was very different; wills had to be written with a child in mind, the mission for 1st LAR (Light Armored Reconnaissance) was very driven. He deployed while I was 5 months pregnant on Halloween of 2011. A month after he was there, his best friend, best man, and fellow mortar man LCpl Craig McMillen was shot through both legs and had to immediately come to the States.
He took this to heart; he knew he would be okay, but the reality of war struck a little close to home. A month before he came home, his good friend LCpl Ramon Kaipat was killed in action. This was quite possibly the toughest month he had to deal with while in combat; a brother in arms was lost and he still had a huge mission coming up. When he came home in May 2012, he attributed the success of his company and overall battalion to the sacrifices of his brothers. Zach, being one of the kindest and most humble guys I have ever met, considered himself lucky to hold his 3 month old son–all because of the sacrifices of his brothers. He served active duty with them for a few more months and was honorably discharged in October 2012. He’s still serving in the inactive reserve USMC unit and hopes to continue his service in whatever way possible to them."
Thank you Zach, from all of us here at Chubbies HQ.