Bend soldier killed in Iraq

U.S. Army Spc. Zachary McBride of Bend was one of six U.S. soldiers killed by a bomb north of Baghdad, the Oregon Military Department said late Thursday.

The soldiers were conducting a house-to-house mission Wednesday when a bomb exploded in a house in Diyala, said Kay Fristad, a department spokeswoman. Four other soldiers were wounded.

McBride is the fourth Central Oregon service member killed in Iraq in the past year and a half. Two civilians with ties to the area also have died in the wars of the Middle East since 2004.

McBride, 20, joined the Army shortly after graduating in 2005 from Mountain View High School, where he was a student in Ana Ebeling's advanced chemistry class.

"With his scores, he could have gotten scholarships and gone to any college, but it was his dream to be a soldier," Ebeling told KTVZ-TV in Bend.

"In fact, the Army has a test, and he scored so high, they wanted him to be an officer. But he just wanted to be a soldier. It was his dream."

Ebeling said McBride was quiet and "sort of unemotional. But under that surface, he was so funny and giving."

Mountain View senior Clayton Mansfield said the school is putting together a memorial for the soldiers who lost their lives serving the U.S.

McBride's sister, Sarah, currently attends Mountain View. She was overjoyed when her brother returned for a visit in November.

"Sarah is a really nice girl. She's in my class. She didn't deserve this," Mansfield said.

While in high school, McBride was involved with youth ministry at Eastmont Church and did mission trips to serve children in Ireland.

"He really cared for kids," said John Lodwick, pastor at the church, where McBride's father, Marshall McBride, helps lead services.

Lodwick told The Oregonian newspaper that church members have rallied around the McBrides. "There will always be a hole there that won't be filled this side of heaven," he said.

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