MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota soldier who lost both of his legs at war made a special return to his hometown Friday.
Pfc. Jack Zimmerman walked over an improvised explosive device (IED) in southern Afghanistan in March. Since then, he’s been undergoing extensive rehab in San Antonio, Texas.But Jack returned home to Cleveland, Minn., Friday for the first time since his injury.
And he couldn’t have picked a better night: homecoming at Cleveland High School.
The high school football field offered a platform for the community to recognize Zimmerman’s bravery and sacrifice. Zimmerman helped raise the American flag for a ceremony in his honor.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better hometown to be from,” he said. “And I really mean that. It’s pretty incredible.”
Zimmerman remembers the instant he lost his legs.
“It was like booff. It just went off,” Zimmerman said, recalling the moment the IED exploded.
“My right leg was immediately missing,” he said. “The left leg was still there, but it was pretty rough.”
Doctors amputated both of Zimmerman’s legs, but the loss hasn’t held Zimmerman back. Just three weeks ago, Zimmerman walked on prosthetic legs for the first time in a Texas hospital.
Another triumph, Zimmerman’s recent marriage, made his return home especially significant.
Zimmerman and his wife will go back to San Antonio in 10 days where Zimmerman will start therapy again.