Words from his mother:
“Zack was amazing. At the age of 15 he was accepted to RMTS summer institute at the University of Denver to attend college level courses for intensive summer study. Zack was also invited to the Utah Awards Ceremony in recognition for his exceptional score on the ACT. Zack graduated from Itineris Early College High School in a curriculum for advanced students. His love for the Air Force began at age 6, he could tell you anything you would ever need or want to know about any plane or gun. He really wanted to fly. This love of the Air Force stayed with him throughout his years even knowing his eyesight wasn’t good enough to fly. He enlisted when he was 17. Throughout his Air Force years he received many awards including honor graduate at boot camp and the John Levitow award for being the honor graduate of his Airman Leadership School. He never led on what a huge honor that was.
Growing up, he played all sports. The two he loved the most and stuck with was golfing and bowling. He was on several leagues and on the High School bowling team. He was a Seahawks fan through and through. He loved hunting with his buddies in South Dakota. His pride and joy was his son Aiden. He took his own life just before his 24th birthday. As his “mommy”, I will never understand this. “Charlie” is forever in my heart.”
Staff Sergeant Zack Barton, USAF, passed away October 13, 2013 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Zack was born in Murray, Utah, October 29, 1989, to Gary and Ina Christine Barton, the second of three sons.
Zack attended schools in West Jordan, and graduated from Itineris Early College High School in a curriculum for advanced students. An exceptionally bright and gifted student, Zack earned honors throughout his school years. At the age of fifteen, he was accepted to the RMTS Summer Institute at the University of Denver to attend college level courses for intensive summer study. Zack was also invited to the Utah Awards Ceremony in recognition for his exceptional score on the ACT.
Zack always wanted to be in the Air Force. Upon graduating high school in 2008, he joined the Air Force. During his career, Zack was an honor graduate in basic training. Zack’s first assignment was to Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana. Following Malmstrom, he received orders to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, where he served in various positions from Aircraft Parts Store Technician to Chief Inspector of Supply. Zack was the recipient of the John Levitow award for being the top graduate of his Airman Leadership School, served a tour in Qatar, earned a CCAF degree, and was second in his class graduating from a Manpower Training course in Mississippi. In addition, Zack supported Operation ODYSSEY DAWN by providing aircraft spares for the first B-1B combat strikes ever launched from the United States. Sergeant Barton’s decorations include the Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. As an Airman in the USAF, Zack’s shoes were always shined, his uniform always pressed, and he always stood tall.
Though his life was short, Zack led a full life and had an extraordinary journey in the span of it. He was amazingly brilliant and wonderful, always in control, bold, reserved, honest and forthright; and handy — he could fix anything with duct tape. He excelled in bowling, and loved to hunt. He was always tinkering with his golf game and was starting to shoot bogie scores. He was a Seahawks’ fan through and through, and for grandpa Leone, pulled for the Dodgers.