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  #1  
Old 07-25-2007, 04:24 PM
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Cpl Matthew Ross Zindars, USMC, 21, Watertown, WI (Iraq)

Watertown Marine killed in Iraq
By Adam Tobias of the Daily Times staff
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 12:32 PM CDT

A 21-year-old Watertown resident who was on his second tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq was killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb, his father confirmed this morning.

Cpl. Matthew Ross Zindars was killed Tuesday morning in Ramadi, Iraq, while he was on patrol, said his father, Ken Zindars. Ken Zindars said he was notified of his son's passing Tuesday afternoon.

Members of the United States Marine Corps are expected to give the Zindars' family more information on Matthew Zindars' death at 1 p.m. today.

Matthew Zindars, a two-year member of American Legion Post 189, attended Trinity-St. Luke's Lutheran School and graduated from Watertown High School in 2004. Ken Zindars said his son joined the Marines at the age of 18 while he was still in high school.

Matthew Zindars came home from his first tour in Iraq in October 2006 and volunteered to go back for a second tour in March 2007. He was supposed to come back home in October of this year.

“He volunteered to go back because his friends were going back and they needed help,” Ken Zindars said.

Ken Zindars said the mission of his son's unit was to perform security operations and clear roadways of explosives. He added Matthew always wanted to be in the military.

“He was pretty proud to be a Marine,” Ken Zindars said.

Ken Zindars described his son as decent, dependable and unpretentious.

“He was salt of the earth,” Ken Zindars said. “He was a great kid and never gave us any trouble.”

Jim Moeller, principal at Trinity-St. Luke's Lutheran School, said Matthew Zindars was always a good student who never got into any trouble.

“I always think of him as sitting in the classroom and he always had this mischievous smile on his face,” Moeller said. “He was always well behaved but he always had that grin where you could tell he was up to something and he was always thinking.

“I just feel sad that this has happened,” he added. “But he was one who knew that he loved his savior and he knew his savior loved him and that's comforting.”

Matthew Zindars enjoyed snowboarding and water sports, his father said.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:52 AM
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Matthew Ross Zindars, age 21, of Watertown, passed away in Rushdiyah, Iraq, on Tuesday, July 24, 2007. Matthew was born Sept. 12, 1985, in Watertown, son of Kenneth and Lynn (Wittig) Zindars. He attended Trinity-St. Luke's Grade School in Watertown and graduated from Watertown High School in 2004. Matthew was currently serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Watertown and the Watertown American Legion Post No. 189. Matthew loved spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoyed snowboarding, skiing and jet skiing, rock climbing and playing board and video games. Matthew is survived by his parents, Ken and Lynn Zindars of Watertown; two sisters, Tracy (Richard) Kempf-Reichardt of Waterford and Jennifer (David) Kempf-Wilson of Racine; a brother, Mark Zindars of Milwaukee; nephews, Nathan Reichardt and Caleb Reichardt; nieces, Mikayla Wilson and Mariah Wilson; other relatives and many friends. A brother, Jason G. Zindars, preceded him in death. Funeral services will be held on Friday, Aug. 3, 2007, at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium of LUTHER PREPARATORY SCHOOL in Watertown, with the Rev. Anthony Schultz and the Rev. Mark Gartner of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Watertown, officiating. Burial will be in Lutheran Cemetery in Watertown. Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the HAFEMEISTER FUNERAL HOME in Watertown, on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007 and at LUTHER PREPARATORY SCHOOL gymnasium, Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Watertown would be appreciated. Hafemeister Funeral Home 611 E. Main St., Watertown (920) 261-2218
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:59 AM
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600 pay respects to city's Zindars

By Adam Tobias of the Daily Times staff

About 600 servicemen, veterans, family members and area residents paid their final respects Friday to a 21-year-old Watertown Marine who was killed last week during his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Cpl. Matthew Ross Zindars was killed by a roadside bomb July 24 in Ramadi, Iraq, while he was on patrol with his unit. Zindars' unit was responsible for performing security operations and clearing roadways of explosives.

Funeral services for Zindars were held at Luther Preparatory School with the Revs. Anthony Schultz and Mark Gartner of St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church officiating.

Before the funeral services were held, members of the Patriot Guard Riders held American flags as they lined the school's driveway.

As the services got under way, nearly every seat in the Luther Preparatory gymnasium was full. Gov. Jim Doyle, members of the military and the Zindars family sat in the front row during the services.

The funeral got emotional at times, and even a few Marines, who are often known for being stoic, wiped tears from their eyes with their white gloves and tissues as Schultz described the type of person Zindars was.

“By the grace of God our country has had people willing to do what soldiers do, which is to fight for their country wherever and whenever they are called to fight, and Matthew did that,” Schultz said.

“When you fight for your country sometimes it means sweat, sometimes it means blood and sometimes it means parts of a soldier's body - an arm or a leg or an eye or worse,” he added. “Sometimes faithful soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice: They lay down their life for their friends.”

Schultz said that Zindars did not die in vain and that every single person in the country should be proud of the sacrifices he made.

“Matthew was faithful,” Schultz said. “He was faithful to his Savior, faithful to his country, faithful to the Corps and he made that ultimate sacrifice. Matthew Zindars did not die in vain. He died faithfully serving his country, protecting little children in a neighborhood near Ramadi that would not have been safe without him.

“We will never forget Matthew,” he added. “We will always be proud of him. We will remember the sacrifice that he made.”

Following the funeral services at Luther Preparatory School, a procession including family, friends and members of the military made its way to Lutheran Cemetery in Watertown, where Zindars was laid to rest.

The interment included a gun salute, the sounding of Taps and a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” As bagpipes played what could be considered the most requested funeral song, two Marines folded the flag that was draped over the casket and another Marine handed it to Zindars' parents, Kenneth and Lynn Zindars.

As the interment came to a close, Kenneth Zindars slowly walked to the coffin, gently placed his hand on the smooth, brown wood and said his final good-byes to his son. After Kenneth Zindars walked away, many friends and family members also paid their respects by touching the casket.

Born on Sept. 12, 1985, Zindars attended Trinity-St. Luke's Lutheran School and graduated from Watertown High School in 2004. Zindars joined the Marines at the age of 18 while he was still in high school.

He was deployed to Iraq in March 2005 and his first tour lasted about seven months. He volunteered to go back for a second tour in March 2007 because he felt his fellow Marines and friends needed him. He was supposed to return to the United States in October of this year.

Zindars was a member of American Legion Post 189 and St. Luke's Lutheran Church. He loved spending time with his family and friends and enjoyed snowboarding, skiing, jet skiing, rock climbing and playing board and video games.

Zindars is survived by his parents, Ken and Lynn Zindars of Watertown; two sisters, Tracy (Richard) Kempf-Reichardt of Waterford and Jennifer (David) Kempf-Wilson of Racine; a brother, Mark Zindars of Milwaukee; nephews, Nathan Reichardt and Caleb Reichardt; nieces, Mikayla Wilson and Mariah Wilson; other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Jason G. Zindars.

Zindars is the 77th Wisconsin service member who has died in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:01 AM
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Patriot Riders salute the fallen
Group honors soldiers across state at funerals
By MEG JONES
Posted: Aug. 3, 2007

Watertown - They start in many places and gather at one.
Dressed in black leather, in fatigues, in jeans, and yellow "Patriot Guard Riders" armbands, they come to honor the dead. And they come to let family members know their loved one's sacrifice will not go unnoticed.

On Friday, it was this small southeastern Wisconsin community mourning the loss of a native son to battle. For the men and women on Harleys, Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis and even a yellow scooter, their journey to Watertown to take part in Marine Cpl. Matthew Zindars' final journey was a way to honor someone most of them did not know.

Jack Standley Sr. of Palmyra never met Zindars, but it didn't matter. An Air Force veteran, he drove his yellow Polaris Victory to Luther Preparatory School and stood along the driveway holding a flag as the hearse carrying Zindars' body drove up and an honor guard slowly pushed the flag-draped casket into the school's gymnasium.

This was Standley's 19th "honors mission." On his black leather vest were 18 small blue metal tags that read "Patriot Guard Riders. Mission Accomplished" for each time he has taken part in a military funeral. Soon a 19th metal tag, for Zindars, will be added to his vest.

"The Patriot Guard Riders are great," Standley said. "We don't know what people do, we don't know their religious aspirations - it doesn't matter. We're here to honor the soldier."

Carrying 3-foot-by-5-foot American flags, the Patriot Guard Riders have shown up at every funeral of fallen Wisconsin military members since fall 2005, when the organization was formed as a buffer to a small group of protesters from a Kansas church that showed up at military funerals. About 1,400 belong to Wisconsin's chapter; nationally Patriot Guard Riders number more than 100,000, said Wisconsin captain John Curran, who made the two-hour drive Friday morning from his Dodgeville home on a Honda Goldwing. Curran sends e-mails to members with details for each Wisconsin military funeral. He never knows how many will come.

On Friday, more than 60 motorcyclists, mostly from Wisconsin but some from Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kansas, showed up in the school's parking lot at 8:30 a.m. to prepare for the arrival of Zindars' body at 9:40.

No protesters picketed at Zindars' funeral, though there have been protests at a few funerals in Wisconsin.

Some brought their own flags, others used Stars and Stripes passed out by the Patriot Guard Riders and took up positions along the sidewalk, standing in the hot sun as mourners walked by. Several mourners looked at the long rows of motorcyclists holding flapping flags and stopped to say thanks.

"These are the sad ones, the funerals. The 'welcome homes' are great, everyone is smiling," said John Tenuta, a retired Kenosha County Sheriff's deputy who drove his 2000 Harley Softail to "welcome home" ceremonies in Oak Creek for a Wisconsin National Guard unit last month.

A few minutes after the funeral ended, the Patriot Guard Riders started up their motorcycles and slowly rumbled off to lead the black hearse carrying Zindars to a cemetery on the outskirts of Watertown.

They drove past families clutching small American flags on sidewalks, past Family Video, Rick's Auto Repair and Craft Castle. They drove past Hardee's and the sign that said, "We are proud of your service. Thanks Matt." They traveled past motels and churches and cornfields and stopped on the road next to the cemetery.

Mike Weaver, an Army medic in Vietnam, guided the flag carriers to Zindars' final resting place to make a "circle of comfort" around the crowd of mourners. "We want the family to feel the support and see all the flags," said Weaver, of Kaukauna.

After a Marine bugler played taps and a Marine honor guard fired a 21-gun salute and two bagpipers played "Amazing Grace," the funeral ended.

The Patriot Guard Riders folded up their flags, started their motorcycles and drove away, one by one.
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