Survivor Stories

Pam Zembiec, Surviving Spouse

Pam Zembiec marvels at all the ways her 11 year old daughter, Fallyn Justice Zembiec, reminds her of her husband: “Before she dives off the diving board she scratches her stomach, just like he used to scratch his stomach before a wrestling match. She loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, the way he used to love mint chocolate chip ice cream.” But most importantly, Pam says, Fallyn has her father’s character. “She is the moral code at school, just like Doug was the moral code. She stands up for what she believes in.”

In 2007, when Fallyn was just a baby, she lost her father and Pam lost the man she remembers as “the love of her life.” Major Douglas Zembiec, USMC, was killed on a night raid while on a Special Forces billet deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. “He was the Marine of all Marines,” Pam says. “There will just never be another Doug.”

Now, more than a decade after her loss, Pam knows that while her husband may be gone, his legacy is still very much alive. Doug’s leadership and integrity live on in Fallyn. 


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“The love I have for her is beyond something I can describe. Having a little piece of her, means I have a little piece of Doug.”

“I just hope that she will one day know that he was this awesome, incredible human being. That he was a Marine, a super hero. But he was also a human being who made mistakes, like she will. That he learned from his mistakes and that's what made him a stronger, bigger person. Just like she's gonna be.”


And while Doug’s memory has undoubtedly shaped the personality and character of both Pam and her daughter Fallyn, the work of TMF ensures that it will also shape the character of the next generation and generations to come.  



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