Marine SSgt Chris Zimmerman
KIA September 20, 2006
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Killed while conducting combat operations in Zaidon, Iraq. After his platoon was tasked to kill enemy mortar teams operating in the area, with courage and selflessness, Staff Sgt. Zimmerman volunteered to be the point element in a dismounted security patrol. Moving along the reed line, his reconnaissance team received a heavy volume of fire from a concealed enemy position. He quickly identified that position and oriented his team to return fire. While displacing to ensure the safety of his team’s radio operator, Staff Sgt. Zimmerman was mortally wounded by enemy fire.
Chris Zimmerman graduated from McNeil High School in Austin, Texas in 1996 and enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1997. He then attended the Naval Aviation Crew Chief School in Pensacola, Florida, graduating as the honor graduate earning his Aircrew Wings in October 1998. He served honorably with the Marine Light Attack Squadron 267 and Marine Light Attack Squadron 773 until he ended his service in July 2001. After the attacks of 9/11, he chose to re-enlist in July 2002. He completed a combat deployment in Afghanistan in December 2004, then volunteered for duty with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and deployed to Iraq in March 2006. He was set to return on October 24, 2006, but was killed in action on September 20th.
During Chris’ memorial ceremonies at Camp Fallujah, Iraq on September 30, 2006, his commanding officer said, “Staff Sgt. Zimmerman led more than 100 combat patrols, conducting 22 reconnaissance missions, uncovered eight improvised explosive devices and captured six high-value individuals.” Another officer stated that, “Chris’ greatest attribute was the degree in which he involved himself in his Marines’ lives. He took training them extremely personal. Their failures were his failures; their successes- his proudest moments. In the end, the Marines he trained and worked closely with will attest they are better Marines and better men for having known Chris.”
SSgt Chris Zimmerman was 28 years old from Stephenville, Texas.
Original portrait was presented December 2008 to his parents during a special memorial event held at the Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas.
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