Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Marine Lance Cpl. Edward A. Schroeder II

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Edward A. Schroeder II, 23, of Columbus, Ohio.

Lance Cpl Schroeder died when his Amphibious Assault Vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device during combat operations south of Haditha, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Force Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Columbus, Ohio. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Edward A. Schroeder II may have been the only one to attend Sunday school every week, but he also had a wicked sense of humor. Like the time he went to a Halloween party in a Tonya Harding costume, complete with a lead pipe.

“He could be one of your sons. He could be the kid next door,” said his mother, Rosemary Palmer.

Schroeder, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, died Aug. 3 when a roadside bomb destroyed his assault vehicle near the Iraqi-Syrian border. A 2000 high school graduate, he was based in Columbus. Heavily involved in his church youth group, Schroeder often volunteered at soup kitchens, was a counselor at Boy Scout camp, a lifeguard and a volunteer emergency medical technician.

“I just remember him always giving back to others,” said Ty Monk, Schroeder’s friend.

“He didn’t pick and choose, either. He did what everyone else didn’t want to, and he did it with a smile.”

He attended Ohio State University but left after joining the Marine Reserves. He was employed by Deluxe printing company until his unit was activated in January.

He also is survived by his father, Paul.

Lance Cpl. Edward August Schroeder II was always part of a team, a pack, a squad.

Schroeder, of Cleveland, whom friends and family called Augie, worked in concert with others: as an emergency medical technician, a lifeguard, a Boy Scout, a church youth counselor and lastly, a Marine.

His mother, Rosemary Palmer, traces the origin of his "team consciousness" to his preschool years, spent with his family in China.

Later, her son was on football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and swimming teams while growing up in Maplewood, N.J. He wasn't an athlete, but he loved being part of the team.

"Some people are just on that wavelength and that was him," said Palmer, a Collinwood High School teacher.

Palmer also remembered her 23-year-old son as a child of contrasts.

"He was so somber, but he had a sense of fun," she said.

He showed up for a preschool event in which kids were supposed to highlight their heritage wearing a pair of lederhosen. Schroeder pulled up the knickers and greeted attendees by telling them he was a German cousin of television character Steve Urkel. "Did I do thaaat?" he mimicked the character's famous refrain.

His oddball sense of humor extended to a middle school talent show where he performed as a bumbling magician, who, along with his dummy partner, fumbled all his tricks.

He also had what his mother deemed a "Hard Copy" sense of humor when it came to Halloween. One hit costume involved four fingers, a thumb and a T-shirt lettered with L.A. Evidence Room and "one size fits all." He was the bloody glove.

"We always said he was going to be a police officer or a standup comedian. We didn't know which," his mother said.

Schroeder, one of 14 Marines killed Wednesday in a roadside bombing in Iraq, went on to college after high school and family tradition dictated he attend Ohio State University. He studied criminal justice, but was eager to work. He started to think about enlisting after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Palmer objected strenuously to her son joining up, saying she "didn't raise her son to be cannon fodder." He assured her he would never see combat and planned to be a military police officer.

More recently, he would call his father and say "Hey, Pop." He told his father that the closer his unit got to leaving Iraq, the less he thought it was worth being there.

He was supposed to return home in six weeks.

Marine Lance Cpl Edward A. Schroeder II was killed in action on 08/03/05.

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