Robert and Gladys

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Thank you for visiting robertandgladys.com.

This web presence has been created for several reasons.

First, George has been portrayed savagely in the media. I would appreciate the opportunity to let people know what our son is truly like. Therefore, a brief and honest description of George is provided.

Secondly, I am very often asked ‘How are you doing?’, ‘How are you holding up?’, or similar questions by concerned friends and acquaintances. How we are doing is unimaginable. Gladys and I have planned and worked hard our entire married life (36 years) in order that someday we would be able to spend some quality, peaceful time together in our retirement years. Our dreams ended on February 26th. I have given a short explanation here of what our life has actually been like prior to and since that time.

Lastly, many people have recently asked how they can support my wife and I, either emotionally or financially. My wife and I have only requested prayers thus far and we have refused to accept any donations or payments whatsoever for any purpose. However, we fully realize that the peaceful, secure life we once knew is now just a memory. Therefore, I am providing a link for those supporters who would like to leave us a personal message or contribute to our greatly increased living expenses, and our eventual relocation.

Because George still is facing a murder charge, I can not freely discuss his pending case. However, I assure everyone that the time will soon come when the truth will be presented, both about February 26th and the unbelievable, highly orchestrated events following that date. These are events that should shock and alarm most Americans. There is also a link to view recent updates so I can occasionally address circumstances concerning George and our family.

Note – I am not, and never cared to be, a writer. Please excuse any errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation.

George’s Formative Years

George was born October 5, 1983 in Manassas, Virginia. He was born in Prince William Hospital. This is the same hospital where his brother was born three years earlier and where his sister would be born three years later.

I was in the US Army for approximately 21 years. During much of my later service, I was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as an Executive Support Supervisor. As an enlisted man, and living in a high cost area, I routinely worked a second job. For this reason, many of the duties associated with raising our children were the responsibility of my wonderful wife, Gladys. Cristina, my thoughtful and loving mother-in-law, has been living with us since before our first child was born. She also played a very significant role in raising our three children.

George’s mother, Gladys, was born in Lima, Peru. After graduating from college, she became a physical education teacher. However, during a trip to visit her brother, a soldier stationed in the Military District of Washington, we were introduced. Immediately, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of his life with this beautiful, intelligent young lady. Gladys was not at all that convinced about me. However, on December 20, 1975 we were married in a traditional, Catholic wedding.

Our first few years were somewhat of a struggle. However, we were eventually able to purchase a home in Prince William County, Virginia and start our family.

In 1978 Gladys started working for the Circuit Court of Prince William County. She also became very well known in the Hispanic community and a very active member of All Saints Catholic Church. Gladys was also a dedicated member of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, helping those in need throughout the community. Being both bilingual and very well known in the community, Gladys was routinely sought out for her advice and assistance by members of the rapidly growing Spanish-speaking community.

It was not uncommon for individuals to show up at our residence at any hour requesting assistance. Without exception, Gladys and I would provide anyone whatever assistance possible. The Zimmerman children were raised knowing that being helpful, good Christians, and good citizens, was their responsibility. Every supper was eaten as a family and there was always a prayer for the less fortunate. The word ‘hate’ was never allowed in the Zimmerman household. Often Gladys would take one or two of the children on her errands to help the less fortunate in the community. One gentleman needed assistance so often that the Zimmerman children lovingly referred to him as ‘El Senor Problemas’ (the problem man).

Additionally, Cristina was the baby sitter for two young African American girls for many years. These girls, one now a physician and the other a PhD candidate, were very close to all the Zimmerman children. To all involved, race was never a thought that came to mind.

It was during these early years of George’s life that he grew to understand the requirement each of us have to be good citizens. This led to George becoming an altar boy in the Catholic Church, often serving alongside his older brother. George served as a dedicated altar boy for approximately eight years. Due to George being bilingual and very dedicated to the church, the priests offered him his first job, a receptionist at the church rectory.

George was also active in the Young Marines. The Young Marines is sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve and teaches young men and women morals, social values, and community commitment. Theses are values George learned at a young age and that were continually reinforced by the example of his parents.

When George graduated from high school he relocated to Central Florida, where his two uncles lived. He had taken many vacations to Central Florida and liked the area a great deal. He also understood that, upon retirement, we would also relocate to the area.

Shortly after George moving to Florida, we purchased a small retirement home in Lake Mary, FL. George lived in the house for approximately two years, then was joined by his sister. In exchange for free rent, they maintained the house and paid expenses related to the property.

Approximately three years later, in the Summer of 2006, Gladys and I retired and relocated to Lake Mary. Gladys’ mother, Cristina, was in her 80s and her health was becoming more fragile. It was very important to Gladys that she spend as much time with her aging mother as possible.

George has always taken being a good neighbor and good citizen seriously. Every time the opportunity would present itself, George would donate blood. George additionally worked with a men’s homeless shelter, often obtaining clothing for the shelter. When two tornadoes went over the Orlando area, George purchased a chain saw and assisted anyone that needed help.

In late 2010, a homeless African American man, Sherman Ware, was knocked unconscious for no reason whatsoever by the son of a Sanford City police officer, George was upset that the son was not arrested and that no one seemed to care about the homeless man. George produced and distributed a notice of what had happened and rallied support for the homeless gentleman. George put this notice on vehicles and passed it out at churches as services ended. Eventually, largely due to George’s efforts, the police officer’s son was charged with the assault.

(Ironically, the sister of this homeless African American man would later be one of the first in the community to condemn George, demonstrate against him, and label him a racist and murderer.)

Additionally, George sought the assistance of the local NAACP in seeking justice for Mr. Ware. However, the NAACP ‘lacked the resources’ to become involved on behalf of Mr. Ware, so George stepped up. Strangely, the NAACP would later have very significant resources to portray George as a racist, while they certainly should have known that was not.

When George and Shellie were married, Shellie understood and accepted George’s values and his desire to assist his fellow man. Shellie wholeheartedly felt the same.

George and Shellie learned of a program providing mentors to children needing a stable and positive influence in their lives. George and Shellie welcomed this opportunity and become mentors to two African American children, they both were eager to make a difference in the children’s situation. Although George was working full-time and going to school, he made it a priority in his life to do as much for these children as possible. When I met these two young children I did not know who they were, I asked where they knew George from. They replied ‘he’s our mentor’. I was unsure what these two young people meant by the word ‘mentor’ so I asked them what that was. Their reply was that “George takes us places, helps us with things, and teaches us to do the right things. We really love George”. George also assisted their mother as much as possible with any repairs or help that may be needed around their house. Unfortunately, the mentoring program ended. However, George and Shellie continued their activities on their own. When George’s mother ask why he had to travel to such a dangerous area to mentor children, George’s reply was ‘Mom, I really love these kids and if I don’t go, they won’t have anyone”. To this day, George is very saddened that he will most likely never see these children again.

Prior to George’s arrest, the media asked two African American neighbors of George if he was a racist. One said that she knew George very well, nothing about George portrayed in the media was accurate, and that to this day she would trust George Zimmerman with her life. The other commented that George Zimmerman was the only individual, black or white, that had introduced himself when she was moving in. He gave her his phone number and said if there was anything she needed at any time, please call him or his wife. She is totally convinced that the individual portrayed in the media is certainly not the George Zimmerman that she knows well.

After George’s arrest he was taken to the Seminole County Jail. Facing a murder charge and his life totally devastated, George’s attitude remained unshaken. After his release on bond, George said that, at some point, he would like to try and make a donation so that others in the facility would be able to make phone calls and purchase necessary items from the commissary.

Although the media and numerous self-serving individuals have continually portrayed George as a racist, vigilante, and even a murder, absolutely none of those names come anywhere close to representing the real George Zimmerman. George has always been, and continues to be, a truly caring, loving, and selfless individual.

We are extremely proud of George.

One of George’s favorite quotes is by Edmond Burke-

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

Our Brief Retirement

My family history includes most males having massive heart attacks. My father died of a heart attack when he was approximately 15 years younger than I am currently. With this family history in mind, I had a serious talk with my wife more than 20 years ago. I asked her what she would like her life to be in the event something were to happen to me.

I asked Gladys if she would like to return to Peru and live there. She said no, that she was very proud to be a US citizen, all of her children were US citizens, and that she did not want to return to Peru other than to visit. When I asked where in the United States she would like to eventually retire, she said that was not important, however, she would like to live near her two younger brothers. Both brothers lived in the Orlando area. Gladys further told me that it was tremendously important to her that she own her own home, even a small home, in her senior years because she never wanted to be a “burden” to any family members.

Throughout the following years, we made numerous visits to the Orlando area. Having three young children, and with family in the area, it was always an ideal location for us to visit. Our children all liked the area, as did Gladys and I.

Approximately five years prior to our retirement, we were in Lake Mary and saw a house for sale. It was small, but located in a nice subdivision. It was also less than ½ mile from where one of her brothers lived. Although we were living in a much larger home at the time, I knew this house would be an easy house for Gladys to maintain in the event I were no longer around.

At the time, George had already relocate to Seminole County and we decide to purchase the house, having George maintain the house until our retirement.

In 2006, Cristina’s health was declining. It was extremely important to Gladys that she spend quality time with her mother while that was still possible. Therefore, Gladys and I decided it was time for us to relocate to Florida. Gladys and I retired and, along with Cristina, relocated to Florida in the Summer of 2006.

The following few years were challenging, especially for Gladys. I often have severe joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis and was often bed-ridden due to a spinal injury. Also, Cristina’s health was declining, to include the rapid onset of Alzheimers. Gladys is a very strong lady and continually sacrificed to care for her loved ones.

Shortly prior to the events of February 26th, 2012, Cristina was hospitalized. Health issues had made her dehydrated and extremely disoriented. After several days in the hospital, her medications were changed and she was allowed to return home.

Also, in February, 2012, I was hospitalized for chest pains. It was determined that all of my major arteries were blocked, one working at only 20% capacity. A stent was inserted and, after a week in the hospital, I was released. (During my hospital stay, although he was working full-time and going to school, George slept in my room with me because he did not want me to ever be alone) Upon release, I was prescribed blood-thinners and told to limit my stress and physical exertion. Additionally, the doctors had discovered that my cervical spine was in very bad condition and physical therapy was prescribed for a continued numbness in my left arm.

Life as we had known it ended on February 26, 2012.

Immediately following the events of February 26th, attorneys, media consultants, and numerous others with self-serving interests, took every opportunity to vilify George. The media was quick to fan the flames of hatred towards George and the entire Zimmerman family.

Naively, I thought that the true facts concerning the events that transpired would quickly be forthcoming and George shown to be completely justified in his actions. That was not to be the case.

The hatred, continually fueled by attorneys, media advisors, individuals with great financial interests, incited many in the community. With the apparent blessing of the Justice Department, the New Black Panther Party was allowed to solicit the murder of our son. George was wanted, with a bounty of $10,000, “dead or alive”.

When Spike Lee retransmitted our incorrect address, causing an elderly couple to immediately flee their home, I became even more concerned for our safety. Very angry protesters went to what was thought to be our address ‘seeking justice’.

Within a few days, Rosanne Barr retransmitted our correct names, address, and phone number. I knew then that we would need to relocate. Almost immediately, threatening phone calls and letters were received. However, one in particular was alarming because it threatened to kill anyone with George’s DNA – it was not mailed, but was left at our front door. These threats were in addition to the constant media calls and visits. It was time to go.

Literally, as I was helping Cristina into the car to leave, media representatives and others were not ringing our bell, but beating on our front door.

We took a couple changes of clothes for each of us, medicines, and a few personal belongings and fled. However, when the media learned our new location, we were no longer safe there. At that point, we went from one location to another. It has been an extremely difficult existence. It’s been a challenge getting hotel rooms when we can not provide our correct names, use credit cards, or produce any valid identification. Today, that is very much what our existence is.

Cristina had to delay therapy, and she has become more confused than ever. I had to immediately stop my physical therapy. Doctors’ appointments had to be cancelled and severe hardship is still the life we are living.

In addition, our daughter had to leave a government job she truly loved.

There have been other severe hardships. However, for security reasons, these can not be mentioned at this time.

I will be greatly relieved when the true facts concerning February 26th are brought to light. However, nothing can ever return us to the family we were just a few short months ago. What Gladys and I have planned and worked for our entire life now will never be.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

Sincerely,

Robert Zimmerman