STANARDSVILLE, Va. (AP/WAVY) - The family of an airman from Virginia say their son - who attended Old Dominion University - was one of two servicemen killed at an airport in Germany.
The Greene County Sheriff's Office released a statement Thursday from the family of Airman 1st Class Zachary Ryan Cuddeback. His parents described him as "an Army brat" who graduated from William Monroe High School in Stanardsville and played hockey at Old Dominion University for a year before joining the Air Force in 2009.
Cuddeback is remembered for giving 110 percent to the club sport. "Came to every practice. Whatever game situation we put him in, he always did it with his best effort and very much contributed to the team, could play all the forward positions," said ODU Ice Hockey Assistant Coach Dan Tansey.
Tansey and a former teammate Tyler Duchaine both said they were shocked and saddened over the news of the airman's killing in Germany.
"You don't expect something like that to happen to someone you know," said Duchaine.
Duchaine, a goalie, said he'll always have fond memories.
"He definitely left a positive impact on me and my teammates. No matter what kind struggle we were going though, he was always there with a smile on his face ready to try as hard as he could, no matter what out on the ice," said Duchaine.
He said it was really a pleasure to have him on the team.
According to the Old Dominion Hockey website , the Cudderback's family issued the following statement:
Airman First Class and Hockey Player Extraordinaire Zachary Ryan Cuddeback's life was ended abruptly on March 2, 2011 while serving his nation in the Republic of Germany. Zac was an Army brat that called many places his home, but had a special place in his heart for St. Louis, Missouri. In 2008, Zachary graduated high school from William Monroe High School in Stanardsville, Virginia. After a year at Old Dominion University, where Zac played on the ODU Monarch's Ice Hockey Team, he joined the U.S. Air Force in 2009. Zac was a regular at the Charlottesville Ice Park. His love of the Air Force, Cars, and Hockey were paramount in his life. Zac always had a smile on his face for everyone, but had no closer friend than his brother Tim. Zac will be remembered by his family and friends as an automobile enthusiast and for his love of the game of hockey. His mother, De Loyet, father, Bob Cuddeback, and brother and best friend, Tim Cuddeback, will miss him sorely.
Two airmen were killed and two were injured during the attack at the Frankfurt airport. Investigators said 21-year-old Arid Uka from Kosovo confessed to the crime. Authorities said Uka wrote about a holy war on his Facebook page, but authorities say he acted alone.
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