Fallen Aggie Soldier Loved to Fly

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

Fallen soldier and Aggie graduate Second Lt. Zachary Cook is being remembered.

Cook, 22, died Monday when the Army Blackhawk helicopter he was on crashed on the Texas A&M University campus.

Family members say Cook was living his dream moments before he lost his life.

Tuesday, members of the A&M Corps of Cadets took a knee, said a prayer and stood in silence for a man destined to serve.

Cook lived to fly and he died doing what he loved.

"His dream was to be an aggie, to be an army officer and to fly. He got to do all three of those yesterday," Colonel Samuell Hawes, an Army ROTC instructor at A&M said.

Hawes taught Cook at A&M and worked with him.

"Zac Cook was a special young man. He had a swagger about him. You had to meet him to know what I'm talking about," Hawes said. "It reminded me of John Wayne. A young John Wayne. That was Zac Cook."

Cook graduated in December and was commissioned as a Lieutenant into the Army.

He was assigned as an instructor for the Army ROTC program at A&M, while waiting to attend pilot training. Cook's dream was to fly Army helicopters.

"For the last three hours of his life he was doing what he believed he was born to do," Hawes said.

Cook was on board the helicopter Monday to make sure the cadets stayed safe during an annual training exercise.

No students were on board at the time of the crash, because A&M officials say the chopper was on its way to Easterwood Airport to refuel.

But many of these students saw the tragic event unfold and rushed to help.

Tuesday, they took time to reflect and remember a brother, solider and Aggie lost.

"He will be missed," Hawes said.

Friends have set up a memorial internet site on the social networking site, Facebook. That's where you can find pictures loved ones have left behind.

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