TV show, fellow soldiers lend Hood victim a hand


Our friends at the Associated Press are reporting that the ABC television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will be helping a soldier severely wounded in the Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler returned home from Iraq two weeks prior to the shooting. He was preparing to attend Officer Candidate School when he was hit four times in the attack. He suffered a nearly fatal wound to his head, according to the report. A bullet shattered the right side of his skull. The metal and bone fragments were too small to be removed, so doctors had to take out 18 to 20 percent of his brain. Zeigler had to learn to walk again. His entire left side was paralyzed and he had very little control of his extremities.

Despite his severe injuries, Zeigler is exceeding doctors’ expectations, the report said. He walking with the aid of a cane and even returned to work Sept. 8.

More than 1,000 skilled volunteers and about 2,000 unskilled helpers are expected to turn out to build the 3,000-square-foot home for Zeigler and fiancée Jessica Hansen, a neuropsychology major who put her college degree on hold to aid his recovery. Many volunteers are Fort Hood soldiers from the 36th Engineer Brigade and 1st Cavalry Division.

The episode is expected to air on ABC in six to eight weeks.


About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

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  1. That’s a really great thing Extreme Makeover is doing for this soldier. I appreciate everyone who helps and lends a hand, especially all the volunteers. Me and a fellow soldier of mine SPC Vongsai, who PCS’d to Fort Irwin, California, exited the SRP site where the shooting took place after a PPD reading, minutes after the events took place. We got a call from our squad leader, telling us to immediately return to the company area moments after the post was locked down. We sped 55 down Battalion Avenue, passing MP’s as we ran red lights down the opposite side. After that, it was choppers, alarms and news flashes all over the barracks. Thanks everyone for reading, and thank the law enforcement for all your help.

  2. A very amazing guy: I did catch the ABC show on 20 February 2011. Everyone involved did a great job. Somebody else suggested it, and I’ll second the motion that Patrick should be The Texas, Man of the Year. Hey ABC – two thumbs up, on Patricks’ story and the help you and the sponsors provided.

    Steve Zeigler
    Venice, FL
    former US Army MP – 1965-1967

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