Parents/founders of Ohio Flags of Honor latest participants in Terry Francona’s ‘Friends of Francona’ program

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Gino Zimmer, middle, a guest of Terry Francona on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday marked another day for Tribe manager Terry Francona’s Friends of Francona program, through which he invites a military veteran and his or her family and friends to the ballpark.

Terry, along with WTAM and others, provide club seats and $20 in fun money for each member of the group.

Sunday’s honorees were Gino and Lisa Zimmer, who lost their only son, Nicholaus, on Memorial Day 2004 in Iraq. After they lost their son, the Zimmers founded Ohio Flags of Honor, which is a display set up across the state with one flag for every military member from Ohio that has lost his or her life in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Gino said the moment he was told he’d be honored at the game he had tears in his eyes. “It was a mix of tears and smiles, but it’s nice to know that the Ohio Flags of Honor are out there.”

Gino and and family have been lifelong Indians fans. “Shoot, my whole life.”

The flags will be on display this weekend in Brook Park. The group’s mission and photos can be found at

Past Friends of Francona participants:



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