Fallen Heroes of Kilo Battery 3/12 Part III

This is the third in a series of tributes I am writing about the four young men who died in the same IED explosion that caused Sam’s injuries.  Sam’s medical status will follow each tribute.  Please continue to pray for the family and friends of these brave warriors.  We must never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made for their country.


Corporal Matthew Zindars, USMC: On July 24, 2007 CPL. Matthew Zindars was killed by an insurgent IED attack.  Cpl. Zindars was the gunner in the 4th vehicle of a 43 vehicle convoy.  The driver (Cpl Heath McRae) and driver’s side passenger (Doc Daniel Noble) were also killed.  The convoy was passing through the Diyala province of Iraq.

Cpl. Matthew Zindars, 21 is from the southern Wisconsin city of Watertown.  Matthew graduated from Watertown High School in 2004.  He joined the Marines at age 18 while he was still in school. 

An outdoor-loving former football player, Cpl. Zindars liked snowboarding, rock climbing and hunting.  He also loved weight-lifting in his spare time.

His father Ken Zindars said his son was “the salt of the earth”.  “He was a great kid and never gave us any trouble”.  He said his son always wanted to be in the military and was “pretty proud to be a Marine.”

Matthew volunteered for a second tour in Iraq because all his Marine buddies were going back and he wanted to be there for them.  

“Matthew said if they were going back, he was going to go with them,” his father said.  “They think of each other as brothers,” he said. “They eat together, sleep together and protect each other.  “They were very tight.”

“Zindars or Z…that’s what everyone here knew him as.  The type of guy who is everyone’s friend, got along with everyone.  Supported all of his comrades no matter what…damn good Marine above all.  He paid the ultimate sacrifice as did his family, friends, and comrades.  May his sacrifice resonate in every American’s heart and remind all of us that freedom is never free.  Semper Fi Devildog!!”

Stephens (Camp Pendelton, CA)

Sam’s medical status:  The physical therapist have been getting Sam out of of bed every day for the last four days, alternating sitting and standing.  They can’t actually just stand him straight up, so they put him on a flat board with straps and a foot rest and slowly are moving it to a more upright angle.  They started at 30 degrees and have been slowly moving to 40 degrees.  They’ll slowly continue this pattern until he is able to be completely upright.  While they are angling the board, they are very careful to check his blood pressure and heart rate.  He’s been on his back for so long that his body can’t take being abruptly turned upright without the gradual process I just explained.   

Sam’s average heart rate has gone down to 90 from about 100 as of late, so that is a nice improvement to his health.  When he first arrived in Bethesda, his heart rate was in the 120 range!

Erin tells me Sam continues to get more irritated and agitated when moved around or when he’s coughing, but but that is actually a good sign they he is becoming more aware and he is progressing through the recovery process. 

MilitaryTimes –
JSOnline Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=638593
Mindfully.org – http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2007/Iraq-US-Deaths29jul07.htm
Legacy.com – http://www.legacy.com/JSOnline/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=91523835&PageNo=2
Spread the Word:  Iraq-Nam – http://iraqnam.blogspot.com/2007/07/matt-zindars-remembered.html

Graphics Acknowledgements:
The picture collage from this post is courtesy of Michelle at Chelle’s Designs. Used with permission. Michelle can be contacted at: 


3 Responses to Fallen Heroes of Kilo Battery 3/12 Part III

  1. Danalee says:

    Sam’s body, and mind, continue to heal. Perhaps not at the same pace, but healing nonetheless. I pray that Our Lord will continue to fill Erin and Sam with the patience and love needed to get through what will be a major period of change. There will be incredible times of frustration ahead for Sam. For encouragement, I offer the prayer in the ‘Breastplate’ of St. Patrick:

    I bind myself today to God’s Virtue to pilot me,
    God’s might to uphold me,
    God’s wisdom to guide me,
    God’s eye to look before me,
    God’s ear to hear me,
    God’s Word to speak to me,
    God’s hand to guard me,
    God’s way to lie before me,
    God’s shield to protect me,
    God’s host to secure me,

    Sam, Erin, may the Holy Spirit be with both of you–and with Sam’s caregivers–in the weeks to come.

  2. This is for Sam…

    Joh 14:26
    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Just found out about your blog honoring Sam and all our heroes. You are doing a wonderful job with your updates. Thank you for mentioning the Blue Star Riders and our dedication to our wounded heroes. America owes them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

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