News>Scott AFB Passenger Terminal dedicated to fallen Airman
Robert Cuddeback speaks about his son, Airman 1st Class Zachary Ryan Cuddeback, July 6, 2012, during the Scott Air Force Base Passenger Terminal dedication ceremony. The Passenger Terminal was dedicated to his son Zachary in honor of his service. Zachary was a vehicle operator assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, when he was mortally wounded March 2, 2011, by a terrorist while transporting Air Force Security Forces members to the Frankfurt International Airport, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade)
Robert Cuddeback and Celia Loyet, father and mother of Airman 1st Class Zachary Ryan Cuddeback, unveil a bronze plaque dedicating the Scott Air Force Base Passenger Terminal to their son’s service July 6, 2012. The plaque will remain at the entrance of the terminal. Cuddeback was born on Scott Air Force Base, July 6 1989. The ceremony took place on his 23rd birthday. He was buired in O'Fallon, Ill. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade)
Celia Loyet hugs Staff Sgt. Ashley Rivera after Scott Air Force Base dedicated the Passenger Terminal to her son, Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback, July 6, 2012. Rivera was a friend of Zachary’s when they were stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, together. Rivera and her family came all the way from Ramstein, to attend the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade)
Members of Scott Air Force Base and guests view the display of information about Airman 1st Class Zachary Ryan Cuddeback after Scott dedicated the terminal to him during a ceremony July 9, 2012. The display includes his medals, a flag and history of his service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade)
by Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
7/6/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Members of Team Scott and the local community gathered July 6 at the Passenger Terminal as Scott Air Force Base dedicated its newly renovated Air Passenger Termial in honor of Airman 1st Class Zachary "Cudde" Cuddeback.
Cuddeback was a vehicle operator assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, when he was mortally wounded by an Islamic terrorist while transporting security forces passengers to Frankfurt International Airport, Germany, March 2, 2011.
"Cuddeback was merely performing his duties as a vehicle operator on the day he was killed," said Master Sgt. Brent Severns, 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal section chief. "Naming the terminal after our fallen comrade allows us to pay tribute to him."
Severns came up with the idea of naming the terminal after Cuddeback following an 18 month, $1.9 million renovation.
Cuddeback was born on July 6, 1989, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. As an Army child, he frequently moved but always claimed St. Louis and the surrounding communities as his home, and was laid to rest in O'Fallon, Ill.
He graduated from William Monroe High School in Stanards, Va., in 2008. In the year following his graduation, he played ice hockey at Old Dominion University on the Monarch Ice Hockey Team and the Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity until he joined the Air Force in 2009. After basic training, he went to technical training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was then assigned to Ramstein AB.
Robert Cuddeback, his father, spoke at the dedication ceremony and talked about his family's long line of military service, including his own 21 years in the Army and relatives who served in the WWII, Korea and Afghanistan.
"So, it was no surprise to us that Zac enlisted in the Air Force. The Air Force is an enlisted person's service - even though you have 39 general officers here. Scott AFB was named after an enlisted person who was out doing his job on a training flight and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Just like Corporal Scott, Zac was there just doing his job," he said.
Staff Sgt. Ashley Rivera, 86 th Vehicle Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and a close friend to Cuddeback, said, "He always lit up the room when he came to work. He always brought a smile and a story to tell." She, and many other friends travelled from Germany, Japan, South Dakota and Washington D.C. to be here for the family and the ceremony.
Col. David Almand, 375 Air Mobility Wing commander, spoke on behalf of Scott AFB, and said, "The Cuddeback family is part of our family and is always welcomed here. Airman 1st Class Cuddeback embraced the Airman's Creed and represented all the best of today's Airmen. When the question was asked, who will defend and protect us, he said, 'Send me.' He lived the Air Force values of Service Before Self, Integrity First and Excellence in All We Do. He's a son, friend, leader, Airman ... hero. We just hope that your grief is diminished and replaced by pride in his legacy."
Zac's father echoed those words and said, "Zac was all about 'Honor Above All Things,' which was the code he lived by in college and in the Air Force. While in the Air Force we saw him become a man who embraced duty, honor and our country, and was just one of the many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines who fought the good fight against insurgents and terrorists and tyrannical governments. Happy Birthday, Zac."
7/16/2012 8:43:52 AM ET This dedication is well deserved. RIP A1C Cuddeback.