Texan of the Year nominee: Patrick Zeigler



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Posted on December 20, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 20 at 6:54 PM

Selecting a "Texan of the Year" is a big deal to me.

I look for the man or woman to whom I can point and tell any young person, "pay close attention, there is someone with high moral character."

For me, this year, Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler is that person.

He is the 2009 Fort Hood shooting survivor with the most severe wounds. His challenging recovery this year makes him worthy of your recognition.

Patrick Zeigler's life meant nothing to the gunman who shot him four times, once in the head.

Before that, he thought his first tour of duty in Iraq was tough. But this past year, Zeigler had to re-learn everything — standing, walking... you name it.

And it has not been all uphill.

He nearly died; lost a third of his body weight; and the month of May is not much more than a haze to him.

But he has never given up.

Last month, under his own power, Staff Sgt. Zeigler walked into the courtroom at Fort Hood and testified against his accused attacker. He faced him, stood up, and walked out.

This April, Zeigler he will ride a bike from San Antonio to Arlington for the Ride 2 Recovery race.

His struggles have not ended; neither has his desire to overcome them.

Looking for a role model for your kids? Try Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler, my choice for Texan of the Year.

E-mail jmccaa@wfaa.com