Via the Dallas Morning News:
FORT HOOD, Texas – The slow, rhythmic thunk of a metal cane was the only sound in a military courtroom for nearly a minute Thursday when Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler was called to testify about the attack last November that left him brain-damaged.Hasan is like the alien in Independence Day who allowed people to see the face of evil and the true intentions of the enemy.
The man accused of shooting him, Maj. Nidal Hasan, sat motionless in a wheelchair, his dark eyes blinking as he tracked the sergeant's halting steps. Zeigler did not return the Army psychiatrist's gaze as he made his way to the witness stand.
Ziegler spoke carefully and sometimes paused as he described the horror that left his left side so damaged that he had to relearn to walk and his head so riddled with bullet and bone fragments that 20 percent of his brain had to be removed. His fiancée listened intently from an aisle seat, sometimes biting her lip.
Zeigler said he initially "froze up" when someone near the entrance of the soldier readiness center yelled "Allahu Akbar" just after 1 p.m. Nov. 5. Like most of the 18 other witnesses who have testified in the proceeding, Ziegler said he thought at first that the incident was some sort of drill. He saw a man in a combat uniform pull something from his uniform top – an object he initially thought was a training weapon. Then he registered that the gun had a laser sight and that its red beam was arcing toward him.
"It actually crossed paths with my eyes," Zeigler said. "I have no sense of time, but it felt like somebody hit me in the side of the head with a metal baseball bat."
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