Last updated: August 24. 2013 1:31PM - 155 Views

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OTTAWA — Many people may enter Sgt. Omar Logue’s life, but he believes none will take the place of an Ottawa man he knew and served with for only nine months. Logue and others on Monday celebrated the life of Staff Sgt. Zachary Wobler, 24, and mourned his death. He was killed eight days earlier in Iraq. “He is irreplaceable. No one in this room forget it. He is irreplaceable,” the 34-year-old Logue told the several hundred people who filled SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa. “I will feel the loss of his presence in my life until I pass from this Earth. As I said, he is irreplaceable. Do not forget it.” Wobler died Feb. 6 during a firefight in Mosul, Iraq, where he was an Army scout leader with the 2nd Brigade, 325th Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. An injury sent the 1998 Ottawa-Glandorf graduate home from Iraq in March but he later chose to return. That was the sort of person Wobler was, his fellow soldiers said.    Wobler was the fourth person from this area to die serving in Iraq.    The previous deaths didn’t deter Wobler or change his stance on Iraq, according to a letter he sent to his mother. He wrote that, rather than criticizing the commander in chief, people should stand behind the troops.    “The ways of the world tell us to be selfish, to see what we can get out of different situations. The attitude of me, me, me and I, I, I,” said Deacon James Rump, whose son played football with Wobler at Ottawa-Glandorf. “Zach wasn’t like that. He put his men before himself.”    Logue said faith and family were important to Wobler, and he credited Wobler’s parents for different aspects of Wobler’s personality. Logue also requested the family one day tell Wobler’s 3-year-old daughter, Trinity, that her dad died making plans for the time he had missed with her and that he kept her picture on his dash.    Staff Sgt. Michael Beal said he refused to believe Wobler died. The 29-year-old said that, while deployed in Iraq, he told Wobler about his marital problems. Wobler was the sort to listen and help, but never tell others, Beal said, adding that Wobler quickly put things in perspective: “Mike, snap out of it. Your men need you. I need you. Get ’em home alive. Worry about the marriage later.”    “If I could turn back the hands of time and take his place, I would. That’s how much I loved him. That’s how much all of us loved him,” Beal told fellow mourners.    Monday’s funeral Mass mixed Wobler’s patriotism and his faith. Members of his brigade, other military personnel, law enforcement officials and veterans organizations joined family and friends in packing the pews. American flags joined the candles, crosses and stained glass windows adorning the church.    Representatives from area law enforcement rolled Wobler’s closed casket into and out of the church at the beginning and end of the 90-minute Mass. A roll call ended the service, with Wobler’s name repeating until it was announced he was no longer here. A 21-gun salute then rang out and a bagpipe player performed “Amazing Grace.”    Burial will take place later in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington,Va.    Wobler’s father, Anthony, and his fiancée live in Leipsic. His mother, Jeanette Poston and her husband live in Gate City, Va. Wobler’s brother, Brandon, lives in Payne.


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