A Gold-Star in lieu of Second Award Purple Heart recipient, Staff Sergeant Zambon was born in Marquette, Michigan on November 3, 1984. He graduated from Marquette Senior High School in May of 2003…
In January of 2011, SSgt Zambon was struck with an IED in a blast that explosively amputated his legs above the knees. Today, he is an activist for U.S. veterans and shared an inspiring message of unity on the eight year anniversary of the incident.
1/11/11– Eight years ago today: I got to ride the white tiger of a bomb exploding under my feet. In that place in my life as a bomb disposal technician, I hold that brief moment of that day in high regard; as a member of a profession whose technicians train and operate to reach a level of clear-eyed, exacting knowledge of the threshold of safety and exploding havoc: and comfortably operate up until that level as necessary: to be an explosion’s partner on the floor of a combat zone reaches a knowledge of the craft that is ultimate in nature. One’s bones are shook; the lung’s and Heart powerfully compressed by the rapidly expanding shock wave; every cell in the body found to be awake and wide eyed at the exposure of such a vicious and powerful force that in the scape of milliseconds a demand was saw made for and extraction performed of over two hundred bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments of both my legs above the knees.
In the moment of stillness after, my rapid bleeding was arrested via two tourniquets; (beer always Dan and Doc) and then the moment was over.
One must hold with a smile the wonder of life.
That deployment was my sixth combat pump. On my previous I had a Taliban detonator crank off in my left had as I working on it and upon MEDEVAC and return to the states I was not asked to go back to combat again. 2010 however saw the most dangerous year for Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal, with nine techs killed that year, all of which I knew, from playing volleyball at the shop with to best buddies riding dirt bikes all over southern calif. A demand was asked for experienced team leaders for the deployment later in the year and I took the opportunity and ran with it. I went back in the most meaningful way to repay a thanks to my pal and teammate in 2007, Mike, who gave his life in the performance of his duties and upon his death, my life was impacted so and the thanks I had to express to him shunted as he was no longer here: “ahh to go above and beyond what I’m asked, to deploy again, to demonstrate my thanks and gratitude for Mike for giving his life—this is how I can repay him my thanks”
When I think of my buddy Mike or any of those I knew who surrendered their last breath and view the division oppressing our country, I’m reminded that no one paid the ultimate sacrifice for any certain sect or group of our nation but instead for all Americans, for our way of life, and the defense of our Constitution: of which we are sworn to protect.
Our currency reads “United we stand, divided we fall.” It is regretful that political machines utilize division of people to accrue support to gain or maintain power; this stands to our ultimate detriment, which those who’ve sacrificed know is held at a dear price. Perhaps the political leaders of our age haven’t known this devotion. Regardless, I would take this opportunity for you reading this today to congratulate you, to say I’m proud of you and to call you a brother or sister in this land and on this planet. JFK in ’61 relayed: “let your patriotism be reflected in the creation of confidence in one another…” words, which heed well.
That’s a high up level, the top level reads Biblically where in Matthew 22 it is recorded to “Love your neighbor as yourself”… the Golden Rule.
“Respect and honor for humanity.”
Reconciliation. The inherent good in human beings. That’s all I’ve got, take good care of yourselves–that’s advice from a WWII veteran right there.