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Dragan Žunić

Oct 4, 1965 - Dec 16, 1991(26)

Hero of the Mountain

About the boy who ran on the Dalmatian karst, a legend that arose from reality.

Ancient writers called Velebit in Latin Mons Albius or "White Mountain". For the Croatian people, Velebit is a cult and mythical mountain, a "holy mountain" and a symbol of national identity. A difficult and unforgiving terrain, with hot summer days, cold nights and extremely harsh winters.

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Dragan Žunić was born in Slivnica, a settlement near Zadar, at the foot of a magnificent hill. As a boy, he himself ran on the Dalmatian karst. He listened to the stories of the old mountaineers - about good and evil fairies, caves with treasures and a king with a dog's head. At that time, he couldn't even imagine that soon, he himself would become a legend of that mountain...

After finishing high school, he went to Rijeka, where he got a job and started his young life.

After the conflict broke out in the 1990s, a large number of young men went to Zagreb to join the "First Croatian Policeman" course. The only legal armed force at that time was the police, and due to the questionable loyalty of a part of the militia at the time, the SRH Presidency decided at the beginning of July 1990 to create a loyal armed force that would be the guarantor of the implementation of the political will of the legally elected government. One of the students was Dragan. He went to Zagreb with his godfather, Nikola Vulić.

During the duration of the course, the Balvan revolution began, the consequences of which were especially felt in the Zadar area. The course was the beginning of the special police of the MUP of the Republic of Croatia. The young men, having returned to Zadar, began to establish a special police force in Zadar headed by Đuro Župan.

Mišo Miletić, Dragan's friend and comrade, recalled how he met his friend on the course. - Of the 24 hours in a day, he and I very often spent more than 12 hours together. He was a wonderful man who stood out for his honesty and courage. For him, the word "impossible" did not exist. – said Mišo about his friend.

Namely, Dragan was only twenty-five years old when the war broke out. Despite the fact that his entire youth was ahead of him, he believed that he had to defend his homeland. His first interventions were in the area of ​​Zadar, and both Dragan and Mišo went bravely and most importantly - together. Namely, the two friends became so close that they did not move away from each other and always had each other's backs.

They passed Ostrovičke Lišane, Pridrag and Jasenice together. Jasenice was particularly fatal for the entire Croatian defense, but also for Dragan. Namely, in that action they lost Maslenički most, and Dragan was seriously wounded in the battle. Fragments of shells caused him terrible injuries, so in September 1991, Dragan was transferred to a hospital in Zadar, after which he went to Lovran for treatment.

Then Dragan could say: - I won't do it anymore. - But he would never say that. As soon as he recovered a little, Dragan bravely returned to the battle. His life was intertwined with the life of our Motherland. And then his heroic story just began.

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