A Celebration of Veterans: Their Bravery and Sacrifice


Photo credits to WKBN.com

Sharayah Lazaroff, Writer/Editor

Monday, November 11th is Veteran’s day, a national holiday at the anniversary of the end of World War I, which celebrates and honors all US veterans.  One active soldier, Kimberly Zimmermann, is a teacher at EEA that joined the military in 1996. Zimmermann is an army reservist who is a leader of the rail advisory team.  “I’m in charge of a group of soldiers who are divided up… About half of them are trained in railroad relations; we’re trained to operate a locomotive and work as a rail crew.  The other half are trained to inspect and maintain railway systems”, Zimmermann said, “Together, all of us work… in order to go into host nations and advise them on how to best utilize their railroad system”.


Zimmermann has spent over 30 years in the military, which has caused her to become more adaptable in her everyday life. One testing of her capabilities occurred in 2016, when Zimmermann planned to be deployed to Afghanistan to do railway assessments.  “At the last minute, they cancelled that mission due to security reasons and sent me instead to Kuwait to work with a different section,” Zimmermann said, “What I had to do in that section had absolutely nothing to do with railroading at all. But the years in the military prepared me to be able to adapt and overcome, and to just figure it out”.


Zimmermann correlates her experience in the Army with her capabilities as a mother and as a teacher.  She feels as if her time in the military has transformed the way she lives her life. She said, “It really influenced who I am as a person and it’s afforded me some opportunities that I never would have had [otherwise]”.  Zimmermann believes that expecting hard work and discipline from others is not enough. She is motivated by holding herself to the same standards that she holds for others. “I can never expect someone to do something that I’m not willing to do if I’m qualified and if it’s… an appropriate role for me,” Zimmermann said.  Zimmermann never would have guessed that her time in the military would have influenced her life quite as much as it has, as she simply signed up in order to take advantage of the college aid. “I never… would have thought that, more than 20 years later, I’d still be doing this. I got so much more out of it than just some college benefits and some stuff to throw on a resume“.