Community Surprises Newest Member of Zeigler Family

Created: 03/24/2014 11:09 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Staff Sergeant Patrick Zeigler nearly died in the Fort Hood shooting in 2009. Monday night our community paid back a family who has endured a long road to recovery.

Patrick and his wife Jessica have been through a lot these past few years. Patrick served in the Army, but was shot during the Fort Hood shooting in Texas, paralyzing his left side.

But Monday night was a celebration not only for those two, but for Ranger, a service dog that Paw Pads donated to the Zeigler family a few weeks ago.

"Yeah definitely shocked, I’m shocked,” said Patrick.

"Man I tell you, to see Patrick and Jessica smile like that, and they need it as you know, they've given a big sacrifice that family,” said Lynn Clarey, who helped organize the surprise.

In fact, most of the donations were for the new addition to their family. "He's already apart of the family, but he can help me so much in so many different ways,” said Patrick.

"He deserves that, he served his country and he's paid a big price and I think we should be there for him too,” said Dave Swenson of Rochester.

Now, with food, vet visits and even doggie clean up services being donated, Ranger and the rest of Zeigler family couldn't ask for anything more.

"For the last 4 and a half years since I was shot, this whole community has been there for me, the whole time, Ranger's just the newest addition,” said Patrick.

"In the few weeks that we've had Ranger it's made a tremendous difference in Patrick’s life, how he interacts with our son, how he interacts with me, it goes far beyond the things that Ranger can do. This is changing our entire family, so thank you guys very much,” said Jessica.

Patrick has been honored in several ways since surviving the shooting at Fort Hood.  But for the family, they say a service dog like Ranger will forever change their lives.