Lost another one.. War is hell man. So a couple years ago my catcher from our HS baseball team and friend since 7th grade was killed in that Sea Stallion helicopter crash in the sandstorm in Iraq. He was a captain in the Marines and part of the flight crew (probably the commanding officer on board and an Aggie) that perished along with 20+ other soldiers on board. So now, my cousin (2nd cousin) is killed 3 weeks into his first combat tour. We weren't close, and if i ever met him, it was when he was a baby... but i was very close with his Grandfather (my uncle Jo) and grandmother (aunt bobbie who is 'nanna' in this following story). This kid was their pride and joy... and the only boy that would carry on the Walters name. Sad... so sad. Local Marine dies in Afghanistan Posted: June 11, 2010 - 12:12am Zachary J. Walters Advertisement By TRACEY McMANUS An e-mail he received in Afghanistan gave Sgt. Zachary J. Walters of Palm Coast the answer he had been hoping for. Thomas Zoblisien wrote the 24-year-old Marine last week, giving him permission to marry his daughter, Victoria Falcon. She was ready to say yes, but the proposal would never come. Walters, 24, died Tuesday in the desert of Afghanistan before being able to ask her. He was killed by a roadside bomb alongside Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield, 22, of Hastings, Pa. Both men were part of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Officials from the Camp Lejeune base called the accident "a result of a hostile incident." Walters' grandmother, Bobbie M. Walters, called it an act of heroism. She said her only grandson was leading his platoon through a training exercise along with the Afghan army when Walters stepped on the bomb. It was during his third week of what was meant to be a seven-month mission. "When (officers) came to my door, it was, like, 'Are you sure this is not a mistake? This can't be happening,'" she said by phone from her home in Irving, Texas. She said even knowing the dangers of war, Walters never doubted his dedication to the military. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps the day after he graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School in 2005. Although not from a military family, Walters passed up college scholarships and job offers to serve his country. "He just knew he wanted to be in the service," she said. "He felt like he was doing what he thought was right. He loved the Marines, and the Marines loved him." Walters received boot camp training in North Carolina before his first deployment overseas in 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From August 2008 to March 2009 Walters helped protect the American Embassy near Somalia, his grandmother said. His deployment May 20 was his first trip to Afghanistan but one that his grandmother said Walters was more than ready for. He e-mailed often and promised to call his grandmother's house in Texas sometime next week. That house was Walters' home base throughout a life of constant travel. He was born in Saudi Arabia on May 24, 1986, when his father's contracting work took the family overseas. Walters lived in Texas, Mississippi and Indiana before moving to Palm Coast for high school. Once there, he immediately joined the Junior ROTC program, where his instructor, Chief Master Sgt. Jim Wainscott, said he showed a natural talent. "Right from the start that's what he wanted to do," Wainscott said. "He always took seriously wearing the uniform, whereas many other students don't. ... He was just a good solid kid that did well." Besides life in the military, Walters liked to surf on Daytona Beach, climb mountains out of state and read about aviation. Falcon said her boyfriend had a sarcastic sense of humor and a passion for fast cars. Waiting for him in Texas is a dark blue 2008 Mustang and a black 1987 Mustang. "He was really proud of that," Falcon said. Back in Texas, Walters' family said they never expected his homecoming would be so hard. His mother, Regina, traveled to Dover, Del., Thursday to collect her son's body for his burial at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery next week. It will be a homecoming his grandmother said Walters had prepared himself for all along. "When he left in May, I told him, 'Zach, I'm worried about you,'" she said. "He said, 'Nana, please don't worry about me. ...If it's my time to go, I know where I'm going to spend eternity.'"