MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Jack Zimmerman, a 21-year-old soldier from Cleveland, Minn., received the Purple Heart from someone who is familiar with his experience.
Zimmerman lost both his legs last February when he walked over a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
The Purple Heart is awarded to those who are wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States.
State Rep. John Kriesel pinned the award on Zimmerman. Kriesel was awarded the Purple Heart after he lost his legs in an IED attack that claimed the lives of two men in his unit.
Kriesel said he already knows what he’ll tell Zimmerman.
“Every minute down there is worth it, every time you’re struggling in physical therapy, you know, fight harder, because it’s going to make your life back here much easier,” said Kriesel. “And I’m gonna let him know that I’m here for him, any questions he has, anything I can do for him.”
Kriesel went to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, where Zimmerman is going through rehab. Kriesel received his Purple Heart from President George W. Bush in 2006.