- On a frosty January morning in 2010, two Marines knocked on the door of Michael and Andrea Deebs’ house in Hornell, Steuben County. They asked to see the couple’s 18-year-old daughter, Anne Smith, who was staying with them.
Tersely, they delivered the news that she dreaded hearing: Her husband, Marine Lance Cpl. Zach Smith, had just been killed in Afghanistan. He was 19.
Four days into his first combat mission, he had stepped on an improvised explosive device. As another Marine rushed to his aid, a second IED went off and killed them both.