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Zach Durban greets L-1723


Firefighters posing with flags donated by Staff Sgt. Zach Durban are (from left) Vice President Morgan Wellman;
Zach Durban; President Brian Gatley; Secretary Kevin Strawser. The firefighters are Executive Board members
of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 1723.


The flags were carried on a Black Hawk helicopter during a mission in Iraq

by KEVIN CORVO - Suburban News Publications

     Last month a 25 year-old Army Staff Sergeant
in Iraq received dozens of packages, sent by Nor-
wich Township  firefighters,  for he and  his  fellow
     The boxes contained a plethora  of  amenities
to provide the soldiers with a  little  semblance  of
     Last week that staff sergeant, whose  uncle  is
a  Norwich  Township  fire fighter,  hand  delivered
three U.S. flags to a group of Norwich firefighters.
     Zach  Durban  purposefully  packed  the  flags
into a knapsack and carried them with  him  on  a
Black Hawk helicopter during a mission in Iraq.
     Durban delivered the set  of  flags  to  Norwich
firefighters, including his uncle, Glen Durban, a 22
year veteran of the department.
     "He looks at us  and  what  we  do  as  putting
ourselves in harms way to serve the public,"  Glen
said. "And we of course look at him and  think the
thing, even more so."
     Zach  Durban,  a  2002  graduate  of  Madison
Plains High School in London, enlisted in the  U.S.
Army. He has served three overseas missions but
only  once  in  Iraq.  He  returned  from  Iraq  two
weeks ago and will go to Ft. Wainwright  in  Alaska
before returning for a final tour in  Iraq  later  this
summer. He will finish his six years  of  service  in
     A senior enlisted flight instructor,  Zach Durban
is a crew chief on a Black  Hawk  during  missions.
He is a member of the 123rd Aviation Regiment.
     "We have a small post on base (in Iraq) where
we can get some toiletries and some snack food,"
Zach Durban said, "but it's rather limited."


      "Puzzle books are great ... and pen and paper
so we can write letters back home," Zach said.
     Other  items  that  are  especially  appreciated
include dental floss.
     "(The items) are a little reminder of civilization
back home," he said.
     Durban said he is considering attending a  fire-
fighting or law enforcement academy but wants  to
finish his college degree.
     He attended a small college in Indiana for one
year before enlisting and has done additional work
towards his degree online while in the service.
     He  is  also  considering  becoming  a  teacher.
     "On behalf of my entire unit, I want  to extend
our  gratitude  to  all  the  Norwich  Township  Fire
Department and their families," Zach Durban said.
     Some of the  packages  contained  cards  and
letters  from  the  wives  and  children  of  the  fire
     "Even though we didn't know them, it  added  a
nice personal touch," he said.
     Glen  Durban,  a  1977  Hilliard  High  School
graduate, said the flags will be mounted in wooden
cases, and one will  be  displayed  at  each  of  the
department's three stations.
     "We're  awful  proud  of  the  kid,"  said  Glen
Durban, whose brother and Zach's  father,  Jim,  is
an  army  veteran  and  employed  at  Sutphen,  a
manufacturer of fire engines.
     "(Zach) looks at us with respect and admiration
and all of us  look  at  him  the  same  way,"  Glen
Durban said.




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