CW3 Zachary Esparza

26 Sep 1986 – 29 March 2023

Eagle Dustoff

Fort Campbell, Kentucky

The son of Misty Esparza-Perham and Miguel Esparza, Zac grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He was born on September 26, 1986, and graduated from Bayless High School in 2005. After high school, he attended Southeast Missouri State and became a proud member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

At the age of 24, CW3 Zac Esparza enlisted in the Army from Jackson, Missouri in 2010. As part of his service, Zac completed Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, GA. Upon graduation, he served in Okinawa, Japan from 2011-2012 and was deployed to Afghanistan in support of the International Security Assistance from 2013-2014. He attended the Aviation Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2015 and graduated as a UH-60M pilot at Fort Rucker, AL. In 2017, he served as an Aeromedical Evacuation Pilot with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade on Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. He then served as a Pilot-in-Command in 2020 with Task Force Sinai in Egypt. In 2021, he was assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and has served as an Instructor Pilot since October 2021.

CW3 Esparza’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and the Army Aviator Badge. He was posthumously promoted to CW3 and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Zac loved Army life and all the opportunities it allowed him to have. He traveled to many countries around the world and created many meaningful friendships along the way. In 2021, Zac received his Private Pilot License and became the proud owner of a Cessna 172, and named his plane Pigwidgeon because he was a Harry Potter fan. He loved sharing his passion for aviation by flying his family and friends to destinations across the country. Zac was a St. Louis guy through and through, his perfect date would be eating Imo’s Pizza at a St. Louis Cardinals ballgame. Zac lived his life to the fullest while defending his country and traveling the world. He will be greatly missed by many.

Zachary is predeceased by his maternal grandparents Zona and Robert Overstreet, and his paternal grandfather Eleazar Esparza. He is survived by his parents Misty Esparza-Perham, Jace Perham, Miguel Esparza and Julia Esparza; siblings Zona Ho (twin), David Ho (BIL), Michael Esparza, Brittany Frazier (SIL), Carmen Esparza, Matilda Parmentier (SIL), Rebecca Esparza, Sarah Esparza, and Sophia Esparza; nieces and nephews Cameron Ho, Bryson Ho, Oliver Esparza, and Yemaya Fergusson-Esparza; and many other family members and friends.