Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Matthew T Zeimer

Glendive, Montana

February 2, 2007

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
18 Army Pvt

3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

Fort Stewart, Georgia

 Killed in Ramadi, Iraq, when they came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire.

From WSFB Eyewitness news 3 wsfb.com 04/06/07:

Fallen Soldier's Dad: Son Was Living His Dream
Military: Soldier May Have Been Killed By Friendly Fire

POSTED: 6:24 pm EDT April 6, 2007
UPDATED: 6:44 pm EDT April 6, 2007

EAST HAVEN, Conn. -- The father of a soldier killed in Iraq is trying to come to terms with the fact his son may have been killed by friendly fire.

Tom Epperson, the father of fallen Army Pvt. Matt Zeimer, told Eyewitness News on Friday that he knew something was terribly wrong when he saw the chaplain and a colonel on his doorstep on Feb. 2.

Epperson said his son was fulfilling a dream serving in the military.

"There are only two reasons why a chaplain comes to your house: You're getting married in the Army, which I'm not in, or somebody has died," he said.

Epperson said he went to Dover Air Force Base to watch his son's body return to the United States. Since then, Epperson has experienced a whirlwind of emotion.

The military had told the family that Zeimer had died from enemy small-arms fire during an assault on a U.S. Army outpost grant in Iraq.

Epperson has heard and read that his son and another solider went up to a rooftop to defend the camp, but the two died in the gun battle.

Epperson explained how his 18-year-old son loved a new Nissan Sentra that Zeimer bought just before he was deployed overseas.

Then, another knock at Epperson's door came when officials told him that Zeimer he may have died from friendly fire.

"My son is my hero," Epperson said. "Nobody is going to change my mind on that."

Alan McPeek, 20, was also killed in that attack. Epperson said McPeek's father is in the Navy and is stationed in Groton. A military investigation into their deaths continues.

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