Monday, May 18, 2009
A Texas mom says she's proud of her soldier son who appears on the cover of the New York Times wearing boxer shorts while in battle.
Sheree Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas smiled when she saw the picture of her son in the paper for the first time.
"You can see it says I love New York all across his rear end there," she said while examining the picture.
Her son Zachary made the front page of the Times wearing pink boxer shorts and flip flops during a fight against the Taliban.
The 19-year-old is a member of the Army's 1st Battalion 26th Infantry.
Zachary's infantry is on a peacekeeping mission in the mountains of Afghanistan. His area is a hot spot for violence. "When he came home in March in his break, he said he had been in over 200 fire fights," Sheree said.
The photographer took the picture on Monday, May 11, according to Zachary's mother.
Zachary called his parents at midnight on Tuesday, before the paper hit stores, and told them what to expect. He explained to his parents that he was getting ready for bed when gunfire rang out.
"He was resting and then he said they just started getting shot at, so instead of taking the time to pull his pants on and everything, he just put his helmet on, his body armor on, grabbed his gun and went out," Zachary's father, Tommy Boyd, told CBS affiliate KHOU-TV in Houston.
The boxers came from a stop in New York City. His shirt came from Zachary's favorite ice cream shop, Woolley's Frozen Custard in his home town.
People often have their picture taken in exotic places wearing a Woolley's Ice Cream Parlor shirt - this is a first from a war zone.
Zach has a year and a half left to serve in the Army. He left for Afghanistan last year, barely 19 years old, according to KHOU.
The Boyds say their son wanted to join the Army after watching reports of the September 11th attacks as a little boy.
His mom said he felt a duty to serve and he's doing it with a sense of humor.