Zachariah White left Sept. 7 to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in San Pedro Sula West, Honduras.
“I am very proud of Zachariah and his desire to serve a mission,” Zach’s step-father, Josh Kerr said. “He has been willing to serve our country and is willing to put God first even though that means extending the time that he will be in the [National Guard]. I think that shows commitment.”
White’s mother, Charity Kerr, said that while Zachariah was still in high school, he was approached by a recruiter for the Army National Guard. He started going to drill weekends before he even went to basic training and Advanced Individual Training. His contract is for six years active and two years reserves. He had to get permission to serve his mission, and the Army granted it. He will still have to serve two years of military service he will miss while on his mission.
“I am very proud of him that he has chosen to serve his mission and that he was able to have this miracle occur, that he was able to postpone his military service in the Army so that he can go on his mission,” his sister, Zion White said.
The military doesn’t have to release him, especially since his unit is being activated to go overseas.
“I think it is awesome,” his brother, Alma, said.
“I don’t think that a mother can ever be fully prepared for her youngest child, or any child for that matter, to be far away from her, let alone several countries away,” his mother added. “This is definitely a time where I feel proud of my son’s righteous decisions, but also know that this will require a lot of faith. Faith that he will be safe, taken care of, and that he will have the mission that he is meant to have.
“He is my third child to serve a mission, but the first to serve in a foreign country. I am sure that he will come to be even more grateful for the life that he has lived, and the blessings that he enjoys, as he serves the people of Honduras.”
White said that he wants to serve a mission “because the Lord asks it of me.”
His father and three grandparents all served missions. Both his older sister, Zion, and his older brother, Alma, were called to service missions helping non-profits in Sierra Vista.
“I always planned to serve a mission, but I also felt inspired to join the military to get assistance with education later,” Zachariah said.
He plans on eventually becoming a professor of seismology.
White attended Buena High School, but also started taking classes at Cochise College two weeks after his first day of high school as part of the Running Start program. He was also on the dive team during his junior year of high school.
As to his concern about the pandemic, White said, “The Lord will protect me as He sees fit, and if I die, I’ll die serving the Lord.”
Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak