Booster club holds memorial run for victim of terror attack

Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, known to his co-workers and friends as “Cudde,” has become somewhat of a household name around the KMC. Some people remember the incident much more clearly than others. For members of the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron, March 2, 2011, was a rough day.

“That day we lost not only a fellow Airman but a friend and a brother in arms. Zac was a bright young man with a wonderful outlook on life and the future,” said Senior Airman Caleb Crickette, 86th VRS, a co-worker of Cuddeback.

To commemorate Cudde-back, a few NCOs came together and thought that a 5-kilometer run would be a prime way to remember him. The idea started small, but as the planning continued through January and February, they started to see how much support they had. People came from all over Germany in order to participate and support the memorial 5k race.

“The VRS is hoping to make this an annual event to honor the sacrifice of A1C Cuddeback,” said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Sniff, the 86th VRS Vehicle Operations superintendent. “Knowing Zach and his athleticism and what he brought to the table when we did PT, he was always one of the fastest guys out there. So to propose a 5K, I thought was a great idea.”

Staff Sgt. Monica Luna, 86th VRS, Vehicle Operations Control Center dispatcher, and Staff Sgt. Melanie McBride, 86th VRS, NCOIC Dayshift Vehicle Operations Control Center, came up with the idea while having Thanksgiving dinner, and decided to bring it up their chain of command. They had support from Day One and started working on the project with 2nd Lt. Shanon Geary, 86th VRS, OIC Vehicle Operations Flight.

“The months of preparation seemed to whiz by, and as the day of the race approached, it seemed there would not be enough time,” McBride said.

All of their hard work and dedication to Zac’s memory turned out to be worth the challenges, as the event was a huge success with more than 650 runners and 150 volunteers. All proceeds from the event are going to be donated by the 86th VRS Booster Club to the Fisher House, Wounded Warrior Project and the United Service Organizations.

(Courtesy of 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron)