Zachary D. Tellier
decorated U.S. Army sergeant; 31
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Army Sgt. Zachary D. Tellier, 31, a paratrooper assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Charlie Troop, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., died September 29 of wounds
suffered from small arms fire at Firebase Wilderness, Afghanistan.
Born in Carmel, NY, on May 29, 1976, the year of America's Bicentennial celebration, Zack grew up in Westford, MA, and Bedford, NH, where he enjoyed drama, skateboarding, and producing videos. He was an accomplished drummer in a rock band and a fan of rock artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Dropkick Murphy's.
During high school, Zack worked in front of and behind the cameras at Manchester (NH) Community
Television, which is where he
developed his interest in democracy, his love for the people of the world, and his realization of himself and his lifelong goals.
In the summer of 1993, Zack was chosen to
participate in a small student exchange program in
Poland where the students produced documentaries
together in order to learn each other's languages and cultures. He returned to Poland for two more summers to teach video production and American history. During his high school years, he taught children at the German Language School in Manchester.
Zack graduated from Manchester West High School in 1994 and from American University in 1998 with a
degree in Communications and History. During college, he interned at National Geographic Magazine, where he helped to choose photos for publication. He was
president of the American University Rugby Club.
After college, Zack returned to the Manchester area. He worked hard at many jobs and excelled at the
carpentry trade. He loved spending time with his family and friends, helping them with projects, camping, roughhousing, playing Risk, and laughing with his brothers, James and Dan, and giving "helicopter rides" to his youngest brother and sister, Sam and Hannah.
In September 2005, Zack made the decision to enlist in the United States Army. He wanted to be responsible for his own success at a job he knew he could do well, while serving his country. His dedication to the Army was obvious to his fellow soldiers and commanding officers. He stated in one of his blog entries that he "never felt more alive" than he did while he was in Afghanistan doing his job.
On June 17, 2006, Zack married his longtime sweetheart, Sara Grace Martin, of Nashua, NH. They settled in Charlotte, NC, while Zack was stationed at Fort Bragg. Zack deployed for Afghanistan in January of this year. In April, Zack suffered serious burns while pulling two
buddies from their exploded vehicle. He spent two weeks in Baghram Air Force Base Hospital in
Afghanistan, but he complained daily how he needed to get back to "his guys."
In his brief time in the Army, Zack was awarded two Bronze Stars, one with valor, two Purple Hearts, and several other awards and decorations. His wife Sara says, "I just want Zack to be remembered as a person with a huge heart, a strong sense of morality and integrity, and someone who did what he believed in, right up until the last moment. He was a hero in all of our eyes, but he never would accept being called one."
Besides his wife, Zack is survived by his mother, Pamela D. Morse of Falmouth, MA; his father and
stepmother, David W. and Lauren Tellier of Groton, MA; three brothers, James C. Tellier of Bellevue, WA, Daniel W. Tellier and Samuel C. Tellier of Groton, and his
sister, Hannah E. Tellier of Groton. He is also survived by his paternal grandparents, Eugene H. and Jane Tellier of South Orleans, MA; and numerous aunts,
uncles, and cousins.
TELLIER Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540 (www.ccgfuneralhome.com). A Celebration of Zack's Life will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, followed by a 1 p.m. committal ceremony at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. In lieu of flowers, remembrances in memory of Zachary D. Tellier may be made to the Fisher House Foundation, 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600, Rockville, MD 20852 (www.fisherhouse.org). The foundation provides housing and other support for families of military personnel who have been hospitalized due to illness or injury. Zack had good friends whose families greatly benefited from Fisher House's services.
Published in Lowell Sun on Oct. 4, 2007