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3rd ID soldier killed in Iraq

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POSTED: February 22, 2007 5:07 a.m.
Third Infantry Division Pvt. Matthew “Matt” Thomas Zeimer dreamed of joining the military after high school last year and returned to his hometown of Glendive, Mont. before the holidays to tell teachers he was deploying to Iraq.
He became the first 3rd ID soldier to die in Iraq this year. The death was confirmed by a Department of Defense announcement Monday.
Zeimer, 18, was one of two U.S. soldiers who died from wounds inflicted during a firefight in the volatile region of Al Anbar.
Zeimer entered the Army as a fire support specialist in May 2006. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment when arrived at Fort Stewart in December. He deployed with the 1st Brigade Combat Team to Iraq in January.
School officials at Dawson County High School, where he participated in choir and the Jobs for Montana Students Club, are mourning Zeimer’s passing.
DCHS principal Bruce Clausen said Zeimer was well mannered and wanted to join the military more than anything else. Clausen said he learned of Zeimer's death Sunday night and offered counseling to students on Monday.
"It's kind of unique. Every now and then you get one of these kids with a passion (for the military)," he said. "That was his goal, that was his passion and that's what he worked toward."
The principal said Zeimer wanted to deploy with his unit to Iraq and said so during his to the school in December.
"He was kind of a proud peacock when he was in here. He didn't balk about the opportunity to go to Iraq. He was red, white and blue from the inside out and wanted to do whatever he could to provide service to his country," Clausen said.
Zeimer shared his dream of military life with teacher Patsy Ferco.
"He worked hard to join the military and took the military aptitude tests three or four times to get in because it was so important to him," Ferco said. "He wanted to be a military man. He was gung-ho about serving in Iraq," she said.  "That's what I've trained for. This is the mission," Ferco quoted Zeimer saying.

Zeimer's parents, Ned and Janet Seymour, and four siblings, including his twin sister Tonya, live in Glendive.
Zeimer was one of more than 4,000 soldiers deploying with the 1BCT for its third tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the DOD, Zeimer's death brings this year's death toll in Iraq to 98. DOD has identified 3,086 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war.
Jamie Ausk Crisafulli, Glendive Ranger Rewiew, contributed to this story

 

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