Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Marine 1st Lt. James R. Zimmerman

Remember Our Heroes

Marine 1st Lt. James R. Zimmerman, 25, of Aroostook, Maine

1st Lt. Zimmerman was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Nov. 2, 2010 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

The death of a Marine in Afghanistan is hitting both a family and a school in northern Maine especially hard.

The Pentagon says First Lieutenant James R. Zimmerman, 25, whose parents live in Smyrna Mills, died Nov. 2 during combat operations in Helmand Province.

News spread quickly at Greater Houlton Christian Academy, where Zimmerman graduated in 2003. The Bangor Daily News says Zimmerman’s father, Tom, is the assistant head of the school; his mother, Jane, works with music students; and his sister and brother-in-law both teach there.

Wayne Watson, a family friend, said James Zimmerman always wanted to be a Marine. He was assigned to Second Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, Second Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Zimmerman attended the private pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 school serving northern Maine and western New Brunswick, throughout his school years.

News of his death began circulating around Houlton on Wednesday, a day after the family had been notified, teachers and students at the school said.

Attempts to reach family members Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Watson, who has been involved with the Christian school, said he believed the Marine was on his first tour in Afghanistan. “All he ever wanted to do was to be in the military and be a Marine,’’ he said. “He was a great kid, just a real nice young man that everyone enjoyed being around.

“He believed it was his calling,’’ he told the Bangor Daily News. “James was so outgoing and likeable; he had a great sense of humor. He also was very athletic and would take on any challenge that was put to him.’’

Zimmerman also worked to make his family proud, Watson said. “He wanted to make them proud, and he did,’’ he said. “The price he paid was the ultimate price that anyone could give to this country. Everyone at the school is just so upset over this. It really impacts people when it hits home like this, in such a small town.’’

Marine 1st Lt. James R. Zimmerman was killed in action on 11/02/10.

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