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Service planned for slain airman from Greene

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Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2011 6:32 pm | Updated: 3:29 pm, Wed Jan 23, 2013.

A public memorial is scheduled for this week to honor the Stanardsville soldier killed last week in Germany.

The memorial service for U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Zachary Ryan Cuddeback will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Main Street Arena on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.

A funeral with full military honors will be held at a later date in Illinois.

The family asked in a released statement Saturday that attendees to the memorial service wear casual clothing that represents their love of the military or sports. Cuddeback’s favorite sports teams were the St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Rams.

In lieu of flowers and cards, the family asked that donations be made to the Zachary Cuddeback Celebration Memorial. Donations to the memorial can be made at any First Citizens Bank.

Cuddeback, 21, was one of two soldiers killed March 2 when a man fired on a busload of soldiers at the Frankfurt International Airport.

The other soldier killed was Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, of Williamston, S.C.

Cuddeback was assigned to 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

Friends say Cuddeback was driving the bus carrying 16 soldiers to the airport for deployment to Afghanistan.

The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Arid Uka, has been charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

German officials said Uka approached Alden as he was standing outside the bus and asked him if the soldiers were going to Afghanistan.

When Alden said yes, Uka allegedly shot him and then stormed onto the bus shouting “Allah Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”

Uka then allegedly shot Cuddeback and two other soldiers inside the bus, officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.