Phoenix native Zack Kreisheimer served two deployments in Afghanistan as a combat medic in the U.S. Army. He’s also a close family friend of Gary Bird, from Arizona, who died on 9-11. Horizonte’s Jose Cardenas spoke with Kreisheimer about the friend he lost in the terrorist attacks.
Kreisheimer served in Afghanistan from 2011-2012 as a combat medic with the fourth infantry division. When asked if the United States accomplished anything in Afghanistan for 20 years, Kreisheimer said it prevented another “9-11” from happening. “I take pride in that and everyone else should too,” he added.
Kreisheimer’s classmate lost his father on 9-11. “It affected the community extremely hard. I’ve watched it affect a single-family extremely hard as well,” he mentioned. Kreisheimer said he will always cherish connecting with people. He said he suffered from severe PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) until about 2019 when he asked for help.
He is advocating for increasing veteran benefits in the United States. “In the events that happened in the last few weeks, it’s hard to say if we are safer or not,” he said. On the 20th anniversary of 9-11, Kreisheimer said he wants to remember the people that lost their lives. “That’s 20 years without fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers,” he said.