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