Broken bone won’t slow down Zimmerman

ROTC student has a physical demanding schedule


Junior Will Zimmerman continues to practice despite having a broken hand

Ben Davis junior Will Zimmerman, a cadet Sergeant in the MCJROTC program and an avid member of the Ben Davis Drill Team, has a story to inspire many of us here at Ben Davis.

Waking up every day at 4 a.m. Zimmerman heads to school for the pre-school practice with the drill team. Most mornings involve a mile or more run then hours spent spinning, tossing, throwing and catching an eight pound rifle.

To do this every day takes a certain kind of dedication, but Zimmerman has taken it a step further. For as long as he can remember, he has had a dream of being in the service, specifically the Navy. Due to being only a junior in high school, recruiters cannot sit down with someone and start talking about enlistment for any branch of the military.

On Mondays and Wednesdays after school, Zimmerman goes to the school pool to work out. With workouts from the recruiters at the Navy recruitment office and some from websites about the Navy SEALs, he pushes himself to become as physically fit as possible.

With every day being a physical workout from drill practice, days at the pool and physical training (PT) on Fridays with ROTC, Zimmerman should be well prepared for anything that comes his way as a physical challenge. Until Wednesday, January 21 at drill practice while working on a duo, a rifle was thrown and Zimmerman caught the rifle wrong.

Instantly breaking his hand at the fifth metacarpal, he stopped drilling long enough to determine that he could keep practicing by ignoring the pain.

“After the string of profanity, the realization that I couldn’t drill anymore this season is what really hurt more,” Zimmerman said.

It wasn’t until that Friday after school that he went to the hospital due to pain to finally have it checked out.  Despite the broken hand, he still shows up to practice and goes to each drill competition.

“Because I’m part of the team, I can’t just give up now. I still have a job to do,” Zimmerman said.

Now Zimmerman is instructing the newest members of the team on the techniques of spinning rifles and regulation drill, despite his inability to compete anymore this year.

With a cast on his arm, swimming isn’t possible now. To maintain physical fitness he focuses on core and arm exercises, apart from the 20 lap run in the MPA at school in the mornings.

After high school, Zimmerman plans on going into the Navy to be an EOD tech, dealing with bombs. Shortly after he also plans to join the Navy SEALs. Being in a Marine Corps ROTC one might think that he would join the Marines. Zimmerman, however, has his heart set on the Navy.

“I’m only doing it to get the Marine recruiter to stop calling me,” Zimmerman said when asked why he chose the Navy.

With these aspirations in mind, Zimmerman will not let anything stop him from reaching his goals, not even a broken bone.