USAFE Fallen Airman
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Airman First Class Zachary "Cudde" Cuddeback

Airman First Class Zachary "Cudde" Cuddeback

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Stationed: Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Unit Assigned: 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron
Date Fell: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
A1C Cuddeback playing ice hockey

A1C Cuddeback doing what he loved, playing hockey

Members of the KMC Eagles Hockey Team salute their fallen teammate

Members of the KMC Eagles hockey team salute their fallen teammate.

A1C Cuddebacks procession lined with 1000 flags

"Cudde" was welcomed home in a procession that made it's way from nearby Scott Air Force Base to Zac's uncle's house in O'Fallon. The processional route was lined with 1000 flags provided by the VFW and placed by local townspeople.

Purple Heart MedalAir Force Commendation Medal

A1C Cuddeback was killed as the result of gunshot wounds by an Islamic terrorist at Frankfurt Airport, Germany.

This biography was taken directly from A1C Cuddeback's memorial:

"A1C Zachary Ryan "Cudde" Cuddeback was a vehicle operator dispatcher for the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron, 86th Logistics Readiness Group, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He attended basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and then went on to technical training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on 16 November 2009. After graduation, he received his first assignment at Ramstein Air Base on 26 February 2010. Although Cudde was an Army brat, he claimed St. Louis, Missouri as home and graduated from William Monroe High School in Stanardsville, Virginia in 2008. In the next year, Zachary played ice hockey at Old Dominion University on the Monarch Ice Hockey Team until he joined the Air Force in 2009. While here, he played with and made friends on the local ice hockey teams. His favorite sports teams are the St. Louis Blues and Rams. Cudde was an automobile enthusiast and loved the Air Force and ice hockey. He will forever be remembered by his father, Bob Cuddeback, his mother, De Loyet and his beloved brother, Tim along with his Air Force family and friends."

Also taken from his obituary:

Zac was born on July 6, 1989 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. He became big brother to Tim the following year, where he took on the task of protecting and loving him completely. His Mom, De Loyet has always been in awe that she created two such beautiful, intelligent, caring, loving sons. His Dad, Bob Cuddeback instilled in Zac the pride and love of the United States and our freedoms.

After moving to Virginia in 2003, Zac fell in love with hockey and played at the Charlottesville Ice Park. The only thing that would get him out of bed before 7am was hockey. He was also very proud to have worked as a mechanic at Merchant's Tire and Auto - it was his true love and passion to work on cars. While at Old Dominion University for a year, Zac joined the Kappa Delta Rho (KDP) fraternity and made lifelong "brothers".

After he became a Vehicle Operator (2T1X1) at the 364th Training Squadron, he was promoted to Airman First Class and assigned to home town recruiting in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Zac's love of the Air Force, Cars, Hockey, ODU, and his fraternity were paramount in his life. He always had a smile on his face for everyone, but had no closer friend than his brother, Tim.

Zac is also survived by his grandparents, Lois "Tiny" Loyet, of O'Fallon, and Daniel and Barbara Cuddeback of Millerton, New York; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and Einstein, his puppy.

Zac was escorted home from Germany by his cousin and best friend Airman First Class Neal Bevirt. Neal was deployed in Afghanistan proudly serving his country.

A Celebration Memorial was held at his favorite place in the world - the Charlottesville Ice Park (Main Street Arena) - on March 9th, 2011 from 1-3pm. Tim Cuddeback was be the pallbearer, escorted by his Mom and Dad.

A1C Cuddeback was posthumously awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and Purple Heart.