RENO, NV, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY D, 4TH BATTALION, 31ST INFANTRY, 2 BCT, FORT DRUM, NY AL TAQA, IRAQ 05/12/2007
Anthony J. Schober was inspired to enlist by the horror of the 2001 terrorist attacks. “At the age of 17 he came to me and said he wanted to join the Army,” said his father, Ed Schober. “He was affected by the 9/11 incident. I asked whether he was sure about this and really wanted to do it. He said yes, so I signed the papers. I’m proud of my son – before he went in and after he went in. I’m proud of him but I’m also grieving for him.”
Anthony did not graduate high school before entering the service. “I think he was a little bored with school,” said his grandmother, Arlene Schober. “He was very intelligent. We think he was going to make a career out of it, moving up to the rank of staff sergeant.”
Even on leave he talked about getting back to Iraq “to look after my men,” his grandfather said.
At his funeral service in Santa Rosa, California, on Thursday, May 24, 2007, at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, his sister, Rebecca Schober, 20, clutched her slain brother’s photograph, her face full of tears and anguish. Anthony’s youngest sister, Jessica Schober, 19, held her infant, Konner, and worried her brother would never know her son. “He was just a great guy,” she said, “and I love him so much. And I just wish he could have met his nephew.”
At Anthony’s graveside, his mother, Roberta Schober, of Carson City, Nevada, held hands across her mother’s lap with Anthony’s biological father, Mark Webb of Indianapolis. Mr. Webb in turn clasped the hand of Anthony’s adoptive father, Ed, also of Carson City.
Later, Rebecca Schober sat nearby still clutching the photo of her brother. Mr. Webb walked over and kissed the photo, then held her by the shoulders. “Don’t let it tear you apart,” Webb said. “Anthony doesn’t want you to be that way. Be proud. I am.”
Sergeant Schober, 23, was on patrol on May 12, 2007, with six of his men and an Iraqi translator when they were ambushed in Taqa, south of Baghdad. He and three of his men were killed by automatic fire and explosives, although his body was so badly burned that the Army did not identify his remains until four days later. Sergeant Schober was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.
The Army honored Sergeant Schober’s commitment to his fellow soldiers and to his country with a precision color guard, three volleys of rifle fire, a bagpiper on the hill, and a bugler playing “Taps.” To his family the Army gave a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star; four triangular wooden boxes containing folded U.S. flags, including the one that draped his coffin; and for Rebecca Schober, a copy of her brother’s dog tags, which were stolen in the ambush.
“This was all I wanted,” she said.