Local soldier dies in Fort Polk training accident

A local soldier was killed Thursday in an accident at a training base.

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. -- The Clay County community is mourning the loss of a Sergeant Tyler Zody, 20. The 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army says on Thursday July 24th, the Fort Campbell soldier was killed in a training accident involving a vehicle that also injured three soldiers in Fort Polk, Louisiana. The incident is under investigation.

"It's difficult but there's a lot of things to be handled so right now the focus is getting him home paying him the proper respects and honoring his memory and then we'll deal with the rest of it after," said Michael Zody, Sgt. Zody's father.

Zody had been in the U.S. Army for three years. He enlisted in July 2011 after graduating Fleming Island High School. His father says Tyler always heard him talk of his time in the Army, and his grandfather's service, and wanted to take the same path.

"He loved the military and from all indications he was very good at it," said Zody.

According to the 101st Airborne Division, Sgt. Zody completed combat deployment in Afghanistan. He has received numerous awards and decorations including Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Expert Marksmanship Badge.

Sgt. Zody was a senior sniper for the 1st battalion, 187th infantry regiment, 3rd brigade combat team stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Zody's father says he's grateful he just spent about three weeks with his son when visited home in June.

"He just the kind of kid that takes time to make sure he goes and sees his grandparents, goes eats lunch with his sister," added Zody.

Michael Zody says his son was very family oriented and always made time for his eight siblings.

"Just a young man of high integrity, good family kid, he was just awesome awesome son and awesome sibling and awesome friend."

In August, Sgt Zody would have turned 21-years-old. His family says he was going to celebrate big in Nashville with friends. Those friends and hundreds more whose lives were touched by Zody are grieving his loss.

"The amount of attention this is garnering from friends and people and parents of friends, people he played sports with and it's just overwhelming," added Zody.

Sgt. Zody's father says the family is still in the process of arranging a funeral and memorial service for him. The family wants to thank everyone who has reached out to them.


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