Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Pfc. Nicholaus E. Zimmer

20, of Columbus, Ohio.
Zimmer died in Kufa, Iraq, when his vehicle came under attack by rocket-propelled grenades. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Friedburg, Germany. Died on May 30, 2004.

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"I remember playing guitar with Zimmer in Iraq in our off time, great soldier always had a smile on his face rest in peace there hero."
Michael Epps of Killeen, Tx

"I remember playing guitar with Zimmerman in Iraq in our off time, great soldier always had a smile on his face rest in peace there hero."
Michael Epps of Killeen, Tx

"Thank you, brave soldier. I wish peace for your family and friends."
of Galloway, OH

"I grew up with Lisa and Gino Zimmerman. I never had the honor of knowing your son but my utmost respect all of my thanks all of my love goes out to him. Thanks is not enough for the sacrifice he and his family have given to all of us every individual that live free in this country pays tribute and gratitude to you all. Hero does not cover what the young men and women who serve are to all of us. May gos continue to bless us all, I know that your son rests in the arms of our Heavenly Father I know he watches over his family and his Country and a salute and a prayer f thanks is sent his way and to his family every day. For this Country is a much better place fr all of us for PFC Nicholas E Zimmerman."
Tamara Thomas ( Ruhe ) of Delaware Ohio

"As I was driving along 270 I couldn't help but notice a sign with Nicholas Zimmers name on it. For some reason I was drawn to it and had to search his name and it brought me to this site. First I want to thank Mr. Zimmer for his bravery and loyalty to us and our country. Secondly my heart felt condolences go to his family. As I write this with tears in my eyes I grieve for you. Only a parent that has lost a child will ever know how terribly bad the pain is. It is something that you never get over. I think about our little girl every day. I just want to let you know that there are others out here who share the pain of your loss. May he rest in peace."
TJ Cline of Cirvleville Oh.

"I'll always remember the day I found out Nick had passed but even more than that I will remember his smile. I went to Westland with Nick and shared a ceramics class with him. I remember him hardly ever working and giving our teacher a hard time but it was all in good fun. He would sit there and laugh and smile that million watt smile and play with these dumb little skate board toys. I remember the day in class when he told me and our teacher he had joined the Army. I was shocked that he had, at the time he didn't seem like a soldier. But in the end he was, he showed us all. I went to Nicks funeral and I went to Washington D.C. to see the artist picture of him at Arlington National Cemetery. Nick was a good man and the world is a little less bright without him in it. I think of Nick often, he is not forgotten."
Jennifer Coelho of Columbus, Ohio

"Nick was a friend of mind and it's been 9 years since he was taken from us but he has never been forgotten he was a brave soldier and a great friend love you and miss you nick"
toni of columbus ohio

"R.I.P Brave soldier."
Unknown

"Zimmer,
You gave your life in service to the nation so that your fellow Soldiers, like me, could return to families left behind. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of the sacrifices some of my brothers made while we were there and of course you are one name who tops the list."
Wayne of Monterey, CA

"Still think of you.. zimmer. I bet you are up there making everyone laugh at ur jokes like u did here on earth. Will See ya again sometime."
Jon Crane of Prescott, AZ

"PFC Zimmerman,
I remember along with all our leaders and troops your smile, hard work and dedication. We will always remember you. Best wishes to your Family."
CSM (RET) Raymond Houston of San Antonio; "Dukes"

"Hey nephew, still damned proud little buddy."
Jim Casper of Naperville, IL

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott Steiner of Gahanna, OH / USA

"May 31, 2009
To the family of Pfc. Nicholaus E. Zimmer:
Nicholaus gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"hi nick, i know you can hear me because my son jimmy said you will always be in our home. the old neigborhood has change but is still the same. your being gone has changed but you are still the same. our feelings for you have not changed they are still the same, damd proud your extended family. you are always in our prayers
jacksons/jimmy, jim, janine"
jim jackson (usmc) of galloway ohio

"To the family of Nicholaus Zimmer,
On 25 November 2008 at 11:00 AM the 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment and the 2d Cavalry Association will gather in Vilseck, Germany, to commemorate a monument to our fallen brothers from Operation Iraqi Freedom. PFC Nicholaus Zimmer will be honored on that day. His name will be engraved on the face of a permanent black marble monument along with his fallen comrades. The monument will be located in a park of 50 trees which will form a living memorial to these fine young Soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation.
On that date and at that ceremony we will also honor the families of these Soldiers. We truly hope that the families can participate in the ceremony. It is the wish of the 2d Cavalry Association and the 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment to place a personalized flag case and flag for each of these fallen heroes in the hands of a family member.
We are requesting that these families contact us via email at deddygetty1@comcast.net to learn more about the ceremony and how they can participate.
Toujours Pret!
Dave Gettman
2d Cavalry Association"
"Tacoma Dave" of Washington

"I miss you dude.Alot. In 2001 i had just got my drivers license. I had a old as eagle talon.tiny tiny car nic was in the front seat jimmy jackson in the back seat. i had two other kids in the back seat as well. bikes on a bike rack and two skateboards in the hatch. nic sprayed this dude with a super soaker full of soda and who knows what . the bike rack for some reason or another breaks a block after nic hosed that dude down. that dude turned out to be a bouncer for the new port. i had stopped the car to adjust the bike rack and before i knew it a suv had pulled up full of bouncers chasing us around the car nic still holding the water gun laughing. I MISS YOU BUDDY. RIP"
MIKEY MIRACLE of COLUMBUS OHIO / AUSTIN TEXAS

"AMERICAN HERO

I love my home
I love my wife
I hate war
What’s it solve
If there were one place to be
Its not here
I have a home
A family who loves me
But I’m stuck here
I am an American Soldier
I am here for my country
I am here to make peace, and keep it
I am here to end terror on countries
I am here because my country asked
I am in the U.S. Army
We show no fear
We go into battle with smiles
Because we know what we’re here for
TO MAKE PEACE
If my sacrifice helps save other people then so be it
If my tactics help other people then so be it
But I am not leaving this earth
Until peace is here
This I swear
I am an American Hero"
Jake Chapman of Galloway, Ohio

"To the Parents and family of Nick Zimmer, I learned of your son through Michelle Detweiler who along with another 8 Marine Moms and I have formed our little group of "Sistahs - the Terrific Ten" to support each other as our sons make their journey though the Marine Corps and deployments. I have read quite a number of the messages here about your wonderful son and my heart breaks for your loss. When my son joined this past spring, I had to accept that I might lose him, but all a parent can do is pray for their safety and return. I'm sure not a day, or maybe an hour doesn't go by that you don't think about Nick, but I pray that you have received some measure of comfort from whatever source you seek your strength. It appears Nick has left some very precious memories for a lot of people, so you know he will never be forgotten and many people will think of him often. Many prayers for the upcoming Memorial Service for Nick and the other soldiers."
Suzanne Chirico of Lilburn, GA

"Thank You Nicholaus. Thank you to the parents of Nicholaus. What a wonderful, fine young man. My heart aches for this fallen hero and his family.Many Prayers and much love is being sent to you all,"
A Mother In of Columbus, Ohio, USA

"nick buddy; miss when it's your rack and I'm still waiting 4 my beer bro....Iron Dukes Battalion from 2001-2004 you all won't be forgotten"
lucifer of ft. livingroom

"I was just reading over a list of the war in Iraq casualties. It still doesn't seem real to me that Nick is gone. I still remember when I met him and all the times we all skated and hung out together. Everyone has changed a lot since high school but it never is easy to lose someone. I think it's safe to say we all miss him and wish he was here."
Brad Chaffin of Columbus, OH

"Nick...i'm at a loss for words...you were one of my best friends...i will never forget you...i still talk about you all of the time...i still remember your first day in 2/37...or should i say night...i still find myself laughing about that night...i also remember the last time we spoke...me, you and mullins the afternoon of the 30th...i used to love running into you in iraq...you always made me forget where i was for the time being...germany and life in general will never be the same...i hope that you're safe wherever you are...and i'll never forget...you are a true hero....rest peacefully brother...wolfpack 3rd PLT...IRON DUKES!!!"
Shane Goldberg of Vilseck, Germany

"Nick was the son of my cousin, Lisa Zimmer. I only met him once when he was eight, at my father's funeral. Even then,I could tell he was a very special person. He joined the National Guard so he could go to college and make his family proud of him; I know they truly are."
Dr. Tim Mooney of Powder Springs, GA

"Zim-Zimmer as I knew him was a great friend and battle buddy. I med Nic at Fort Knox durring basic training. We were both 3rd Platoon members. He was a great friend and I remeber the day that I found out he had died it hit me really hard. Brother you will never be forgotten! SGT Joshua Derden 1/124 CAV"
Joshua Derden of Irving Texas

"This message is a little late, but I just found this website. I just wanted to say that Nick was a great guy, I had the pleasure of going to school with him since middle school all the way up until we graduated together. I remember hearing the awful news on the radio on my way to work, and ever since that day not a day has gone by I haven't thought about the great sacrifice that he made not only for our country, but also for Iraq so that we could continue to enjoy our freedom and so Iraq could now have freedom after so many years of hell. If the parents of Nick read this, know that your son is a great hero, and nothing less."
Seth Roese A1C USAF of Moody AFB GA seth.roese@moody.af.mil

"To the family of: Nicholaus E. Zimmer I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"Family don't forget... Brothers in arms. miss you kid."
Delinquents Crew of MPLS, MN

"I had a ceramics class with Nick back in Westland. I had no idea he had enlisted in the Army until I heard the terrible news.

While we weren't best friends, we did know each other and would talk and joke around in class.

I remember the times we'd mess around outside the Ceramics green house right before the bell would ring. He was really a funny guy that always had something off-the-wall to say; and could certainly put a smile on anyone's face.

To any family remembers that might be reading, Nick did have an effect on everyone he knew. He was a great guy that I'm PROUD to say I shared a classroom with him, even though how short of a time it was."
Bo Blackstone of Galloway, OH

""Eugene" or Nick, your my boy man you, ozzy, danny, and max were some of the best friends i've ever had. All of C Co. 2/37 ARMOR became my other family. To this day i cannot forget about the days we spent over there. "Black Sunday" or April 4th, 2004 and May 30, 2004 are two days that run through my mind about every half hour of the day. As i call ozzy or the other guys i still think i can pick up my phone and call you. THen i realize i can't. But you are always in my mind and heart man along with "Cowboy Bob" (LT Kenneth Ballard) or "Mikey" SSG Michael Mitchell. I love you man like a brother and always will. If only everyone knew in our great country the heroism and valor that we all had in C Co. But they never will. I miss you man more than anything!! Watch over me in my hatch and i'll see you in Fiddler's Green."
SGT Erik Albertson of Fargo, ND Erik.Albertson@usarec.army.mil

"I knew Nick throughout high school, but it wasn't until our senior year that I got to see his personality. He had a sense of style like nobody else and a sense of humor to match. I remember hearing and talking to him about joining the army. He was so proud to tell our ceramics teacher(Russell) about joining. The army seemed like an odd choice for such a truely one of a kind guy.
When I hear about Nick I cried, when I went to his funeral I cried and when I went to see his picture at Arlingtion National Cemetary, I cried. I cried for him, his family, other fallen soldiers and all of their families. Nick gave his life to help make other peoples lives better. In the end I am a better person for having known him and so are all of you. Nick will never be forgoten for he was far to special."
Jennifer ( Coelho) Arnold of Galloway, OH

"What a loss to lose this fine young man. Nick is so like my cousin that I always felt at ease when we had a spare moment to chat; my heart is with the family and friends of Nicholaus."
Omid Zehtab of East Lansing, MI

"PFC Nicholas Zimmer was a good soldier and a likeable person. He had a good sense of humor in all circumstances and even though he made jokes about me to the other soldiers , i know he wasn't trying to be mean and he understood i wasn't a perfect man. I wish i had a close bond to the other soldiers like he had with them and if i wasn't such an idiot i wish i could've got to know him more and let him give me a few pointers as how i could correct the wrongs i had done to those around me. I was told after he passed by a sgt that he meant to appolgize for the things he said about me and i know he is looking down on me and hoping my life is going in the right direction. If anyone who reads this can get ahold of Sgt Albertson and Sgt Osborne, tell them they need to write a few things about him, as they were the closest to Nick."
Jonathan Crane of Mesa, Arizona USA

"No other soldier exemplified courage like he did. Even after coming back from very long and tough missions, Zimmer would always cheer you up in a way that only he could. We would sit there late at night playing the guitar and probably for a few hours forget that we were in harms way. Thanks for everything...I will always miss you and the rest of our Crusaders
R.I.P
PFC Zimmer
SGT Mitchell
1LT Ballard"
SPC Garcia "Doc" of Frederick, Maryland

"I met Nick in Elementry school and was friends with up until the day that we graduated. He was such an amazing person and he had such a great sense of humor. I was fortunate to have known him and I know he will be deeply missed by everybody who had the chance to meet him. As the wife of a soldier I know the sacrifice that he and his family have made and I thank them for it from the bottom of my heart."
Kimberly Breeze (Fugitt) of Fort Riley, Kansas

"I never had the honor of meeting Nick myself, but he was my fiance, Brad Harkins', best friend while in Iraq. Nick was the first one Brad met and they clicked instantly.I know there isn't a day that goes by that Brad doesn't greatly miss his fallen comrad.God bless his family!"
Lacey Redfearn of Edmond, Oklahoma USA

"My students and I thank you Nicholaus for keeping us safe. Your sacrifice was not in vain."
Mrs. Arthur's 4th grade class of Nelsonville, Ohio

"I am grateful to have known Nick throughout middle school and high school. His spirit was a blessing to us all. The light you brought to the world is greatly missed."
Michelle Simmons of Atlanta, Georgia

"I am Nick's company commander. Nick was a super soldier and had a priceless sense of humor in a place where that came at a premium. Nick always had a great way of identifying with other soldiers and making the best of some pretty rough situations. As a soldier he was decorated twice for bravery in battle and he never forgot his duty to his fellow troops. He fought very courageously for two months prior to falling on May 30th, 2004 in Kufa, Iraq. After our company lost our first man, Sergeant Mike Mitchell, Nick was best able to verbalize our sense of loss and what that grief meant to us, depite his junior rank, experience and young age. I will never forget his ability to joke and see the brighter side of any situation and his ability to identify with everybody regardless of rank. His loss hit 3d Platoon and all of Crusader Company very hard and resonates through my command still. It will as long as any of us are assigned there that had the honor to serve with him in battle."
CPT John Moore of Friedberg, Germany

"Nick was in my fifth grade class at prarie norton elementary, and he was one of the most friendly kids in the entire class. unfortunately i moved away and hadn't seen him again since, but his attitude and sense of humor, were his best characteristics and what i do remember him for. i'm so sorry for his family but know your son was of the highest reputation and will always be remembered personally as my hero."
Holly Burgess (Rosshirt) of Westerville, OH

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful citizen in arizona

"I met Nick through my husband Wayne and Nicks best friend Matt. He always did what he wanted to do with no regret.
He is loved and missed dearly."
Jessica of Columbus, Ohio

"Private Zimmer, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"My name is Phelica Odums, and your son was killed on the same day as my brother in law. I know that the days ahead will be rough for you, but i hope that each day is getting easier for you. God Bless Your Son, he is a hero. Our family will keep you in our prayers. God Bless You"
Phelica Odums of Columbus, Oh

"Nic...They continue for you. It is because of you that your brothers go on. It is your honor they see when they wake up and when they close their eyes at night. Once a Duke always a Duke. (written on behalf of SSG. Deaton)"
Proud Crusader Wife 2/37AR of Friedberg, Germany

"To the Family,
Our prayers are with you all god bless your son he is a true hero. We know the pain you all feel we to lost our son april 9th in Iraq. God bless you all"
Allen & Chantil Vandayburg of Mansfield, Ohio

"Family and friends:
I mourn with you the loss of a great man. I will honor him and his conquest to protect our freedom always, as I know you will."
Amber Tewell of Galloway, Ohio

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, NIcholaus, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you, Nicholaus, for protecting us all. Sometimes we forget what our armed forces are doing for us...FREEDOM, unfortunately, comes with that unforgivable, unfathomable price...you will not be forgotten for your ultimate sacrifice. To your family, we say...Thank you, too, for your sacrifice. There are no words to replace a child, a brother, an uncle...a loved one. When you are able, seek out those who have given their all, as well. We know from experience the price you have paid, and we mourn with you. God Bless you all."
Kim, Chelsea, & Cody (extended family of A.J. Vandayburg, KIA, Barez, Iraq, April 9, 2004) of Mt. Vernon, OH, USA

"to the family and friends of Nick. My name is christine and i am the sister of michael mitchell who served with nick. my brother was taken from us on 4/4/04. my heart goes out to you because we definitely can understand your pain. the only advice i can give you is to stick together, lean on eachother and don't forget it is okay to cry. you will go through many emotions during this trying time. the anger, denial, frustration etc..

i want to thank you all since i will not be able to tell nick myself. i guess nick was helping the soldiers with the death of my brother. i read a letter that captain moore wrote where he said--"Nobody will ever forget that Nick Zimmer was probably one of the most verbally expressive soldiers in this command and that he more than anyone else in the company helped us to identify the effects of Mike Mitchell's death so we could soldier through it and understand it. He was a brilliant soldier and fought very bravely. His spirit was such a major part of 3d Platoon that we are trying to refine our personality in his unfortunate absence."

so nick, thank you. you and my brother are together now. please take care of eachother."
christine jayroe queen-rif-raf@excite.com of atascadero, ca

"To the family of Nicholaus. My brother Michael Mitchell served with Nicholaus in Iraq. My heart is filled with so much sorrow for your loss. I felt and still do feel the same pain. My brother was KIA on April 4, 2004. I will continue to pray for your family. May the Lords peace come upon you."
Terri Pedrino of Yucaipa, California

"To Nick's family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for our country."
F.Smith of Pennsylvania

"To Nicholaus' Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To Nicholaus' Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,
The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Thank you Nicholaus Zimmer, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Pfc. Nicholaus Zimmer:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Nicholaus for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Pfc. Nicholaus Zimmer:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Nicholaus, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on