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Army 1st Lt. Jason G. Timmerman

Died February 21, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Tracy, Minn.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard, Montevideo, Minn.; killed Feb. 21 when an improvised explosive device detonated as he was assisting injured soldiers in his unit in Baghdad. Also killed were Army Staff Sgt. David F. Day and Army Sgt. Jesse M. Lhotka.

Minnesota Guardsman killed in Iraq

Associated Press

COTTONWOOD, Minn. — An Army National Guard soldier from Minnesota has been killed in Iraq.

1st Lt. Jason Timmerman, of Cottonwood, died Monday, according to Carmen Brunsvold, who leads a Marshall-based Guard support group.

Brunsvold told the Independent of Marshall that she spent Monday evening with Timmerman’s parents, Gary and Pat Timmerman.

Lt. Col. Denny Shields, a Guard spokesman, said information on military fatalities had to come from the Department of Defense. The Defense Department cannot release information until 24 hours after the family has been notified, said Staff Sgt. Christina Delai.

The military reported three soldiers were killed Monday in Baghdad when a roadside bomb detonated as they were evacuating a fellow soldier.

Timmerman graduated from Lakeview High School and had gotten married last year, the Independent reported.

Before Monday, 13 Minnesota service members had died in military operations in Iraq.

Soldier killed in Iraq honored

MARSHALL, Minn. — Clara Schilling didn’t know Jason Timmerman. She just thought it was important to pay her respects as Timmerman, one of three Minnesota National Guardsmen killed in Baghdad, was laid to rest on Tuesday.

Schilling drove from Redwood Falls to the Church of the Holy Redeemer, joining a tide of people honoring Timmerman that included Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the state’s two senators. She stayed just long enough to leave her card and donation.

“I had six in the (military) myself,” Schilling said. “In the military, the boys go up against some tough problems. I just feel so bad. Mine all came home.”

Timmerman, 24, a first lieutenant from Tracy, Sgt. Jesse Lhotka, 24, of Alexandria, and Staff Sgt. David Day, of St. Louis Park, died Feb. 21 when a roadside bomb exploded. All were members of the same Montevideo-based Guard unit. Services for Lhotka and Day were planned later in the week.

Funeral attendees parked and walked several blocks, or took shuttle buses, to get to Holy Redeemer. Many were family members, friends and co-workers of Timmerman, his wife Teresa, or his parents, Gary and Pat Timmerman.

The family asked reporters to stay away from the service. Pawlenty, on his way into the church, said he simply wanted “to express our gratitude” to Timmerman’s family.

Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., called Timmerman “a true American hero.”

The church, with a capacity of 1,000, couldn’t hold all those who wanted to attend. Some of those turned away at the front doors included members of Timmerman’s Guard unit.

“This is just phenomenal,” said Steve Doom, a Timmerman relative from Cottonwood. “I can’t believe the number of people. ... It’s really been a show of support for him and his family.”

Ahead of Tuesday’s service, Anisa Spray and Becky Brunsvold carried a flower arrangement — designed as an American flag — down the sidewalk outside the church. Three members of Brunsvold’s family are Guard members serving in Iraq; one of them, Quentin Brunsvold, is Spray’s boyfriend.

“It’s a very big eye-opener,” Brunsvold said of the men’s deaths. “I never thought that this would happen. It opens your eyes (and) makes you think this is real.”

“Every time you talk to them now is precious,” Spray said.

Chris Pesch of Cottonwood, yet another member of the Montevideo unit, said he joined the Guard about 4" years ago to earn money for college. He thought more about flood-fighting than combat, he said.

For now, he hasn’t been called up.

“You try not to think of it,” Pesch said. “I could get called up tomorrow.”

— Associated Press

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