Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Contributed photoState Rep. Zach Mako, R-183rd, will deploy to the Middle East this fall to help fight terrorism and secure international peace. Contributed photoState Rep. Zach Mako, R-183rd, will deploy to the Middle East this fall to help fight terrorism and secure international peace.

Mako to deploy to Middle East

Thursday, July 18, 2019 by Terry Ahner tahner@tnonline.com in Local News

A local politician will soon trade in his office suit for combat boots.

State Rep. Zach Mako, R-183rd, announced recently he will deploy to the Middle East this fall to help fight terrorism and secure international peace.

“I’m going to pick up the call to duty,” said Mako, 30, of Lehigh Township.

A combat veteran and U.S. Army helicopter pilot in the Pennsylvania National Guard, attached to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation Regiment, Fort Indiantown Gap, Mako received orders to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, where he will join more than 50 Army National Guard soldiers.

Terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda still function in the OFS area of operations and remain a threat to international stability, peace and safety.

Mako said he expects to deploy in the fall and return next summer.

“I’m in the (National) Guard,” he said. “You don’t get to pick and choose what you do, especially in the military.”

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is part of the Global War on Terrorism and is the official name for the mission succeeding Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mako enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in January 2008 and has been a Chinook pilot since July 2011. He was deployed to Afghanistan in December 2012 for nine months as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2016, he was selected to be an adviser to Estonia’s top military officials.

In 2017, he completed elite training as an Aviation Mission Survivability Officer.

“In his time in the General Assembly, Rep. Mako has proven to be a tireless advocate and worker on behalf of his constituents, always remaining focused on the needs and interests of those he represents,” Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-100th, said. “He further shows his commitment to serving others by once again answering the call to serve our nation overseas. We are honored to call him a colleague and wish him a successful deployment and pray for a safe return.”

While he won’t be in the office during his deployment, Mako said his veteran staff will continue top-shelf service for residents of the 183rd Legislative District.

“I’m blessed to have a veteran staff and look forward to returning to continue my state representative duties,” Mako said.

“It is an honor to serve the great people in the 183rd District, both as a state representative and soldier,” Mako said. “I take both oaths very seriously, and I’ve been humbled by the support of my family, friends and neighbors during every aspect of my duties.”

Mako was elected in 2016 to the 183rd seat vacated by former state Rep. Julie Harhart.

The 183rd Legislative District includes Whitehall (part), Washington and South Whitehall (part) townships and Slatington Borough in Lehigh County. It also includes Allen, Lehigh and Moore (part) townships and North Catasauqua, Northampton and Walnutport boroughs in Northampton County.