By Liz Collin

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

— A small Minnesota town honored a hometown soldier on Friday night facing a long battle ahead.

Just days ago, Private First Class Jack Zimmerman from Cleveland, Minn. walked over an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan. He lost both of his legs. Another soldier walking with him was hit with some shrapnel, but is OK.

Jack’s father, Mark Zimmerman will never forget that call that came on Wednesday.

“He told me right away he lost both of his legs and there was severe trauma to his right arm,” Mark said.

“When you have kids in the military you always hope you don’t get the call but every day it’s on your mind,” Jack’s mother, Lori, said.

Jack joined the army two years ago. His younger brother, A.J., signed up last year.

“He’s still my brother. He’s going to be all right. One day we will wrestle again,” A.J. said.

There are about 650 people that live in Jack’s hometown of Cleveland. At least half of them turned out Friday to honor him and show his family they care by walking to their house holding candles.

Nancy Manser organized the event.

“It’s the right thing to do. He did the right thing for us now it’s our turn,” Manser said.

Jack remains in a medically induced coma in Germany. In the next few days, he could be flown to Walter Reed or San Antonio, Texas to recover.

Comments (8)
  1. Laura Taykalo says:

    Heart is with you!

  2. Jen says:

    Best wishes for fast healing and recovery. Thank you for your service to our country! You are a hero in every sense of the word!

  3. Darren says:

    Our prayers are with you. Thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country. You are appreciated.

  4. Cleveland Police Dept. says:

    From all of the officers at Cleveland P.D., our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. – Chief Tiegs

  5. Mike Jacobson says:

    Thank you PFC Zimmerman for your service and sacrifice for us at home. We send all our prayers for your recovery and pray God will Bless you and your family.

  6. John Keltgen says:

    We’re all wishing you the speediest of recoveries and keeping you in our prayers here at the Baker house in LeCenter.

  7. chuck renste says:

    My everyday prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy On Me”” This is my prayer I learned years ago and It is really special.
    Any one who reads this should say it many times daily.

    Chuck Ernste,Faribault,mn

  8. Calvin says:

    I heard about this from one of Jack’s High School classmates while on an airplane. It moved me to see the compassion of a young soldier for his wounded friend and made me realize once again that this country is full of dedicated young men and women who risk everything for their country and family. We have real treasure in the young people of this country, let’s never forget that!

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