FORT WORTH (CBS11) – Friends and loved ones are remembering an American hero with a military career so impressive some suggest it sounds like a story scripted for a movie.
Gino Salvatore Zangara, who recently died of cancer, was born in 1929 enlisted in the Army when he was 15.
He fought in three different wars, in three different branches of the U.S. military.
He served as an Army Airborne Ranger, then enlisted in the Navy serving as an underwater demolition team member. The group known as the “Frogmen” was the precursors to what we know today as the Navy Seals. After that he became a Navy Corpsman and transitioned into the U.S. Marines.
“Men like him is what makes this country great,” says his son, Gene Gary.
Zangara received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Korea. He would later be awarded two more Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star after taking sniper gunfire in Vietnam and then managing to pull four other men to safety while wounded.
“It’s something to be very proud of,” says Gary.
“He loved his country most of all. He was not afraid to go to war and take the battle up for the rest of us,” says Gino’s widow Victoria Zangara.
After active duty, Zangara also served in the New Mexico and Texas State Guards where he finally retired as a Brigadier General.
Zangara was 87.
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