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Face of Defense: City Commends Fort Riley Soldier

By Army Sgt. Roland Hale
Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division

FORT RILEY, Kan., Aug. 5, 2011 – A soldier assigned here received a certificate of appreciation Aug. 2 from Mayor Pat Landers of Junction City, Kan., for his help in apprehending a suspect fleeing from local police June 26.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. Steven Zimmerman, right, shakes hands with Police Chief Tim Brown of Junction, City, Kan., Aug. 2, 2011, after receiving a certificate of appreciation from Mayor Pat Landers for helping Geary County police catch a fleeing suspect. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Roland Hale

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army Sgt. Steven Zimmerman was on his way home from a store when he saw the suspect running away from Geary County sheriff’s deputies. Zimmerman, who was closer to the suspect, stopped his vehicle and took up the chase.

“There wasn’t much of a thought process,” Zimmerman said. “I just saw some brothers in trouble that needed help, so I put the car in park and did what I could.”

Zimmerman tackled the suspect and detained him until the deputies caught up.

“We worked for several weeks to make the arrest of that individual, and almost lost him,” Police Chief Tim Brown said, “but thanks to Sergeant Zimmerman, we didn’t.”

Zimmerman serves with the 601st Aviation Support Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade. Several senior leaders of the unit turned out to show their support, including Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Thomson, the brigade’s senior enlisted soldier.

“Sergeant Zimmerman’s actions speak volumes about his character and are a great example of our [noncommissioned officer] Corps today,” Thomson said. “His quick thinking and deliberate engagement exemplify our NCO Creed and have made a positive impact on the local community.

“[He] is the type of leader who steps up and takes action,” Thomson continued, whether in the sands of Iraq or on the streets of Junction City. We’re tremendously proud of him.”

Zimmerman has been in the Army for three years, and has prior service in the Marines. He said while his actions were mostly triggered by instinct, his military training also taught him it was the right thing to do.

“The recognition is way more than I thought it would be,” he said. “At the time, it was that quick. I was just helping out someone in trouble. Seeing the command represented out here, and to get the thanks from Junction City police, I really appreciate it.”

Zimmerman also will receive the Army Commendation Medal, which can be presented to individuals who distinguish themselves by heroism, extraordinary achievement or meritorious service, officials said.


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