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Sergeant Zachary Pepper served as U.S. Marine

MADISON – Sergeant Zachary ‘Zach’ Pepper was following in his father’s boot steps when he entered the military.

His father, the late Jerry Lee Pepper, was a veteran of the U.S. Army. In 1955, Jerry Lee Pepper participated in Operation Sagebrush, the largest joint Army and Air Force maneuver since World War II that involved more than 150,000 troops. The operation took place on and near Fort Polk, La.

Zach Pepper served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1980 to 1986. He completed Basic Training at Parris Island, S.C. with 1st BN Platoon 1064. He proceeded to Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger, N.C., MOS 0311.

Pepper served with 3rd BN, 24th Marines in Nashville, Tenn. and completed Aviation School at the Naval Air Station in Memphis, Tenn., MOS 6122. He also was stationed with H&MS-29 MAG29, Marine Corps Air Station, at New River/Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Heading overseas, he served on USS Iwo Jima. Pepper was assigned to the Multinational Peace Keeping Force, HMM162, in Beirut, Lebanon.

“For most people, ‘The War on Terror’ began on 9/11 in 2001, but for The Marines it began in October of 1983 when a suicide bomber with 5,000 pounds of explosives drove a Mercedes truck into the Marine barracks in Beirut and killed 241,” Pepper said.

“The responsible party was Hezbollah sponsored by the Syrians and Iranians. RIP Semper Fi,” Pepper said.

“Some of the best days of my life were in the Marine Corps. Some of the worst days of my life were in the Marine Corps, but I have no regrets,” Pepper said.

Pepper’s service awards include Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Navy Unit Citation, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, M-16 Rifle Expert Badge and Pistol Sharpshooter Badge.

He attended Calhoun Community College and Athens State University to study electrical technology. Pepper works as a Sales Manager for Graybar Electric.

His wife, Emma Salas Pepper, works as a certified coding specialist at Huntsville Radiology. Emma’s daughter, Dennessee Lamigo, works at Huntsville Hospital as a certified surgical technician.

Whether jamming or playing in a band, Zach’s favorite pastime is playing music with his guitar. He enjoys traveling to Emma’s hometown, Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines.

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