Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 1, 2012

Funeral for medic hurt in Afghanistan


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---- — ROCKFORD (AP) — A funeral has been held in western Michigan for a 24-year-old Army medic who died from injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan.

Spc. Zachary Shanafelt of Grand Rapids was hurt in an accident last year and died Nov. 21 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington.

During Friday's funeral service in Rockford, a fellow soldier, Army Spec. Nick Sanders, remembered Shanafelt as someone who "took your mind off war." Sanders told mourners that his friend "saved countless lives while we were deployed and kept us light on our feet." Survivors include wife Marina, 13-month-old son Daniel, parents Patrick and Gloria Shanafelt, and brothers Christopher and Silas Shanafelt.

Shanafelt was a 2006 graduate of Creston High School and enlisted in 2009. He served five months in Afghanistan before he suffered the injury.