Saturday, August 02, 2008

Army Spc. Ronald A. Schmidt

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Ronald A. Schmidt, 18, of Newton, Kan.

Spc. Schmidt was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard, Kingman, Kan.; died Aug. 3, 2008 in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained Aug. 2 in a vehicle accident in Ashraf, Iraq.

Newton Kansas – The city of Newton is mourning the loss of the latest casualty in Iraq. Eighteen-year-old Specialist Ronald Andrew Schmidt was killed early Sunday when his patrol vehicle overturned.

Barely out of high school, Specialist Schmidt was doing exactly what he planned; serving his country in Iraq. He enlisted with the Kansas Army National Guard when he was a senior at Newton High School.

"I would characterize Ronnie as very resilient, strong willed,” said Asst. Principal Roger Erickson.

Erickson knew Schmidt very well. He watched him grow from a typical high school boy into a young man.

Schmidt was a busy student at Newton High not only with classes, but he was with the wrestling team, and held a full-time job. He had a busy schedule that helped make him who he was. Erickson believes it was that drive to succeed that led Schmidt to the military.

"I think Ronnie was like a lot of kids, he saw it as a way to financially be secure and gain some training,” Erickson said. “Make sure he knew what he wanted to do with his life. It was a stepping stone to meet his goals."

Schmidt’s goal was to become a firefighter and while that dream won’t be realized, in Newton, many people say the young Kansas hero made his impact despite living such a short life.

Army Spc. Ronald A. Schmidt was killed in a vehicle accident 8/2/08

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