Zack Shannon was the baby of a proud military family.
The 21-year-old Dunedin High School graduate was killed in action Monday while serving his country. Reports say the Blackhawk Helicopter Shannon was riding in went down in Afghanistan.
Entering the home of his mother, Kim Allison, it doesn't take long to realize you have entered a household with strong military ties. The signs are everywhere you look.
"My husband was military, he was in the army," Allison explained Saturday. "All of my boys went into the military. My oldest was in the Army, he's out now, second son is in the Navy, third son is in Army National Guard and Zack was Army."
Shannon was a chopper mechanic and according to his Facebook page it was a job he loved. He was also huge supporter of all Tampa Bay area sports teams.
His brother, Robert Mirrione, is having a difficult time coping with the loss.
"He was the best one of all of us," he says. "That makes it the hardest."
The family says with four boys in the military you learn to accept the risks. That didn't make it any easier when Robert received the news from an older brother.
"When I called him he was crying, that was it," Mirrione recalled. "We didn't even have to have the conversation; I just asked him who it was."
While the mourning process isn't easy, thinking about the good times with Zach brings laughs.
"He was three years old, I found him hanging, he was hanging on the doorknob by his underwear," Allison says. "No one will admit to it so we joke about stuff like that."
For his Zack Shannon will always be that little boy or the thoughtful son who put so much into Christmas gifts. He will also be remembered as the Tampa Bay fan that was quick to talk smack about his teams.
Now you can add American Hero to Zack's list.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be set but there will be a celebration of Zack Shannon's life held on March 24th at VFW Post 2550 in Dunedin.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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