SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Every Friday, in partnership with the Florida Panthers, we put the spotlight on a hero among us, men or women who have gone beyond the call of duty for our country.

This week we’re meeting retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Patrick Zeigler.

Sergeant Zeigler signed up for the Army in 2005 as a Calvary Scout, they are considered the “eyes and ears of the army”.

“I was deployed twice to Iraq. Our job was to identify and basically destroy the enemy” said Sergeant Zeigler.

He managed to make it out safely but little did he know four years after he enlisted, and after two tours of duty in Iraq, his life would forever change back home at Fort Hood.

“I was sitting in a waiting room with about 45 other people and one of the doctors stood up shouted and started shooting us,” said Sergeant Zeigler.

Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army Major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others. Sergeant Zeigler was one of the injured.

“It hit me in the head and was knocked to the floor where he shot me three more times. One of the paramedics helped me jump to the back of the ambulance and we were off to the hospital,” said Sergeant Zeigler.

The shooting caused his left arm and leg to be paralyzed but with therapy, faith, and strength he managed to walk again.

“I was standing in line and heard about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It changed my life after the first month of therapy. We did the before and after of the brain scan and it was just incredible to see the difference. I just really hope people enjoy their freedom and are responsible and do the right thing. I always thought of it as protecting my family and friends,” said Sergeant Zeigler.

Sergeant Zeigler received a Purple Heart for the wounds he suffered in Fort Hood. On behalf of the Florida Panthers and CBS4 News, we would like to say thank you, Sergeant Patrick Zeigler, for your service and dedication to our country.

Marybel Rodriguez

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