Waynesfield Native Killed While Serving

WAYNESFIELD — A former Waynesfield resident has been killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Sonny Zimmerman, 25, died Monday, according to sources close to his family.

A series of posts on Zimmerman’s death began appearing on Facebook on Tuesday. Zimmerman’s grandmother, Loretta Zimmerman, confirmed that her grandson had died in action on Monday.

The grandmother said Zimmerman was currently serving his fourth tour in Afghanistan and had just recently returned to his tour of duty after being wounded a short time ago.

“This was to be his last tour there,” Loretta Zimmerman said. “I guess it is.”

Lorretta Zimmerman referred all other comments to Chris Zimmerman, Sonny’s father, who could not be immediately be reached. Sources close to the family said the Zimmermans currently did not have much information on the situation that led to Sonny’s death.

Officials at both the public affairs office in Fort Campbell, Ky., and at the Community Relations Division of the U.S. Army Public Affairs Office at the Pentagon both said information on the incident could not be released until 24 hours after Zimmerman’s family was notified.

Zimmerman is the son of Chris Zimmerman of Waynesfield and Michelle Fischbach of Fort Jennings.

Zimmerman was serving with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

Flags were at half-staff throughout the community on Tuesday. Waynesfield-Goshen principal T.J. Winkler recalled Zimmerman as an energetic kid who had wanted to be in the military since he could remember.

“He was a great kid, always full of energy and fun to be around,” Winkler said. “He always wanted to be in the military and he joined the Army.”

Winkler said Zimmerman graduated in 2005 and had played baseball, football, and had been active in FFA.

Zimmerman is the third Auglaize County resident to die in combat in the war on terror. Army Specialist Jon Schoolcraft of Wapakoneta died on Jan. 19, 2008, from wounds suffered when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Army Sergeant First Class Brian Naseman of New Bremen died on May 22, 2009, from injuries in a non-combat incident.

Community relations officials at the Pentagon said more information on the incident likely would be available today after it is verified that family members have been notified. Baily Zimmerman, Sonny’s sister, was contacted but declined comment on Sonny’s death.