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Marine 1st Lt. James R. Zimmerman

Died November 2, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

25, of Aroostook, Maine; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Nov. 2 at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, of wounds received while conducting combat operations.

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Small high school mourns loss of former student

The Associated Press

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

The Pentagon said 1st Lt. James R. Zimmerman, 25, whose parents live in Smyrna Mills, died Nov. 2 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province.

News spread quickly at Greater Houlton Christian Academy, where Zimmerman graduated in 2003. The Bangor Daily News said that Zimmerman’s father, Tom Zimmerman, 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.

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Flags at half-staff for fallen Marine

The Associated Press

HOULTON, Maine — Flags are flying at half-staff as a Marine killed in Afghanistan is being remembered at a memorial service in northern Maine.

A service is being held Thursday at Houlton High School for 1st Lt. James Zimmerman, who died Nov. 2 of injuries suffered in combat operations. The 25-year-old Zimmerman was a platoon commander out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Zimmerman grew up in Smyrna, about 10 miles outside of Houlton, and graduated from Greater Houlton Christian Academy.

Gov. John Baldacci has directed that U.S. and state of Maine flags fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset in Zimmerman’s honor.

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Small town, school community shaken by Marine’s death

The Associated Press

News of the death of Aroostook, Maine, resident James Zimmerman hit his alma mater, Greater Houlton Christian Academy, hard.

Zimmerman, 25, was a Marine serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand province when he died Nov. 2.

His father, Tom, is the assistant head of the academy; his mother, Jane, works with music students there; his sister, Meagan, teaches fifth grade; and his brother-in-law, Nathan Foster, teaches fourth grade.

Zimmerman went there from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating in 2003.

“We have a small, intimate school here,” said John Bishop, head of the academy. “We are very much like family.”

Former academy head Mark Jago said Zimmerman was a man of faith and a good teammate who could sometimes be mischievous, but always took responsibility for his actions. He said Zimmerman’s lifelong goal was to become a Marine.

When Jago asked the young platoon commander if his experience in the Marines was what he’d thought it would be, Zimmerman’s response was, “Absolutely, yes it is,” Jago said.

Zimmerman was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Brunswick facility named after fallen marine

The Associated Press

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A new Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Brunswick has been in named in honor of a Marine officer from Maine who died in Afghanistan.

The center on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station property was dedicated Sunday in honor of 1st Lt. James Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, who grew up in the Aroostook County town of Smyrna, was killed by small arms fire in November 2010. He was 25.

The building will become the new training center for Company A of the 1st Battalion of the 25th Marine Division.

Gov. Paul LePage said Zimmerman was "an exemplary soldier and Mainer."

The $8 million facility includes a weapons storage area, assembly hall, classrooms, locker and shower rooms, and workshops.

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