Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis - a New York firefighter who joined the National Guard and became a helicopter pilot, then went to Stanford to become a lawyer – was one of seven people who died in Iraq when a military helicopter crashed in Iraq on Thursday. Zanetis was 37.
“Infectious personality. Very nice, gregarious, always willing to help,” said Stanford law student, Ben Haas when asked how he would describe Zanetis.
But he says Zanetis was not a typical veteran or law student.
“He participated in the Stanford Law School Musical. He was a producer for two of his three years here,” said Haas.
A plaque at Stanford honoring World War II veterans was rededicated in 2016 because of Zanetis’ efforts.
Haas says Zanetis was a trailblazer; he first joined the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and went on to serve openly after it was repealed.