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Tuesday, March 16, 2004


An e-mail I didn't want from Smash:

Bob Zangas was killed last Wednesday in an ambush south of Baghdad. He was a Marine Corps Reservist working in a civilian capacity for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Go read the final entry in his weblog, and pay your respects.

Hang on to your dreams!

Semper Fi, Bob.

Update: Story here

Robert J. "Bob" Zangas, 44, of Autumn Drive in the Level Green section of Penn Township, was one of the first two American civilians working for the Coalition Provisional Authority killed Tuesday in Iraq along with an Iraqi interpreter. They were gunned down near the town of Hillah, 35 miles south of Baghdad, by insurgents wearing police uniforms, according to news reports.

Zangas, who leaves behind a daughter, age 10, and two sons, ages 5 and 3, was the son of a U.S. Marine who grew up in various places and graduated from the American School of Isfahan in Iran. He also graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in journalism.


After Bob Zangas returned home from a military tour in Iraq in September, he had a burning desire to go back and help the Iraqi people rebuild their lives and their country.

"He genuinely liked helping people," said Brenda Zangas, a native of Butler.

He went back in December as a civilian to help them rebuild their newspapers and radio and television stations.

"I am doing something that will help the Iraqi people really get the democracy message out to the masses," he wrote on his Web site.

He also wanted to help members of the U.S. media understand the true story and described his duties as "feeding them stories when they think that the only thing happening here are ambushes and car bombs."

Zangas wrote: "I absolutely love it. And I am doing something that will help."

Nevertheless, he wrote, "I miss my kids very much."

Zangas said he wasn't the bravest man in the world but seemed to accept the fact that he was in danger every day.

One night in February, a mortar shell landed about 100 yards from his bedroom.

"What are we supposed to do? Pack our bags and go home? No. Cower under desks (even my new one) and hide? Not hardly," he wrote.

"I am not claiming to be Mr. Brave ... and I don't pretend to be unfazed by the events of last night. But what else are you supposed to do. ... Life goes on."

And if you're in the Level Green, PA, area, consider this from the message board on Bob's blog:

The funeral arragements have been completed. Please note that a previous posting for the Dobrinick Funeral Home phone number was incorrect. The correct number to the funeral home is 412.372.3111. There will be a viewing on Wednesday, 17 Mar 04 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. On Thursday, there will be a viewing at 10:00-12:00. The Memorial Service will begin at 1:00 PM at the Level Green Presbyterian Church. Light refreshments will be served directly after the Memorial Service in the Church's Fellowship Hall.