Marine 1st Lt. James Zimmerman loved life. He loved the Marines. He told his cousin Sam, when he was 9 years old, that he would grow up to be a Marine.
He spent more of his life dressed up as a Marine than not. He also told Sam that Jesus died for his sins and that he needed to believe that to be able to go to Heaven when he died. James loved God.
James loved his sister Meghan and was her protector always. He was whom his brother Christian dressed up as a bike-accident victim, blood transfusion and all; he loved his brother. James ran, worked out with his dad, and competed with him to carry his Marine full gear.
James loved all his animals — Bonnie the dog, LT the cat, Chico the horse, Rosie the cow — and slept, walked and spent time with them all. James loved his GHCA friends Scott, Jon, and Chad and those at UMO/NROTC. James loved his gram, Althea Zimmerman. He loved his beautiful wife, Lyne,l and planned to begin their family when he returned from Afghanistan. He loved his mom a lot and always picked her flowers and even sent them from boot camp and training at Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif. and found her heart-shaped rocks.
James loved all his Marine boot-camp training and said he knew why they had to do those things. He loved his “boys” and had such compassion for their hard life at home as kids and the difficulties in life they had now. He loved his country.
He knew on March 21, 2003, as he raised his hand and gave his life to his country as a Marine, that he would go to war. He loved his men as they served “over there” and would lead them from the front. He loved the Afghan children and loved building a school, “his school,” for them.
On Nov. 2, 2010, he and his men had patrolled and battled and were on the way back when they heard more fighting, and he turned his men to face the battle one last time. James loved life, and that is why he did what he did. We thank God for his life with us and love him so.
This tribute was contributed by the family of Marine 1st Lt. James Zimmerman, who was from Smyrna Mills.