Staff Sgt. Sonny C. Zimmerman, 25, of Waynesfield, died Monday in Mushaka, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.
The region learned of Zimmerman’s death Tuesday. Zimmerman had been on mounted patrol in Paktiya Province, in eastern Afghanistan.
Zimmerman was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as an infantry squad leader and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined the Army in June 2005 and had been stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Zimmerman is survived by his wife, Morgan C. Zimmerman, of Lima; his stepdaughter, Riley A. McVicker, of Lima; and his parents, Chris L. Zimmerman, of Waynesfield, and Michelle Fischbach, of Fort Jennings.
Fort Campbell’s website for Fallen Screaming Eagles lists Zimmerman’s awards. They include the Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, three Afghanistan campaign medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas Ribbons, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Air Assault Badge.
Zimmerman graduated from Waynesfield-Goshen High School in 2005, where he played baseball and maintained a 3.2 GPA. Zimmerman always wanted to be in the military, he said in the 2005 story profiling him before he left for basic training. His grandfather was in the Air Force, and an uncle served in the Army. His sister, Baily Zimmerman, served in the Air Force.
“I want to serve my country,” Zimmerman said in that June 2005 profile. “It’s also a steady job that allows me to help people.”
Flags were at half-staff Tuesday at several places in Waynesfield, including the library, post office and Armentrout Funeral Home.
He is the fourth military casualty in Afghanistan from the region and the first since Army Spc. Nathan Carse died in 2011.
The 4th Brigade has deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan. In early 2008, the 4th Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Task Force Currahee, according to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division’s Facebook page.
By Heather Rutz - The Lima News, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)
Visit The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) at www.limaohio.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services