West Central Michigan
The QDMA REACH Program
REACH is an aggressive national education and outreach program from the Quality Deer Management Association that benefits hunters, landowners and deer managers in several ways. REACH is the acronym for Research, Educate, Advocate, Certify and Hunt.
Dave Bopp, President
Jim Blaszak, Vice President:
GR Army specialist dies of war injuries
Zachary Shanafelt died in Walter Reed Hospital
An Army specialist from the Grand Rapids area died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington from injuries he suffered in Afghanistan.
Zachary Shanafelt was injured in an accident in Afghanistan in 2011, according to his obituary.
Shanafelt was a 2006 graduate of Creston High School Shanafelt was a leader in the Creston Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), according to director of that program Col. Don Robinson.
"Zach was just a super kid," said Robinson.
Shanafelt didn't enlist immediately after graduation. Robinson said he worked as a a cook in a local restaurant for a couple of years. Shanafelt called his former teacher when he made the decision to join the Army.
The two occasionally talked by way of Facebook and emails.
"Good kid who could do about anything he put his head to," said Robinson. "I'm going to miss him. It's just a crying shame that a guy taken that young and with so much promise."
Robinson learned Monday morning of Shanafelt's death.
"This is one of those times you have to regret," said Shanafelt. "He was a great kid, and as a battalion commander, of course he was. He had to be. But he was a role model for the rest of the kids coming behind him.
Shanafelt's body will be returned to Grand Rapids Thursday.
Visitation will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m to 11a.m. Friday. The service will begin at 11 a.m.
The funeral services will include full military honors and are being handled through Pederson Funeral Home.
Shanfelt leaves behind wife Marina, 13-month-old son Daniel, parents Patrick and Gloria Shanafelt, and brothers Christopher and Silas Shanafelt.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or the memorial fund established for Shanafelts’s son at any Fifth Third Bank branch.
Wounded Warrior Project
PO Box 758517
Topeka , KS 66675