BROOKFIELD, CT, USA
LCPL, I CO, 3D BN, 8TH MAR, (RCT-7, 1ST MAR DIV), 2D MAR DIV,
SAN ANTONIO 05/11/2005
Lance Corporal John Taylor Schmidt (portrait on the right) was born September 4, 1983 in Carmel N.Y. He graduated from Oviedo High School, Oviedo Florida in 2001. John joined the Marines at the age of 19 and was stationed at Camp Lejune, N.C. He left for his first tour, January 2005, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, with his 3/8 buddies. On the first day of elections, just two weeks after Johns arrival, he was injured in a blast.
He was brought back to the states and taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio Texas. John sustained a chemical inhalation injury to both lungs. He later died from those injuries on May 11, 2005.
Johnny fought like a true Marine until the very end of his life. As every Gold Star Mom and Dad know, we were devastated. Our hearts were broken to have watched him suffer. He was only 21. Too soon to lose his life, too soon for us to say goodbye.
He stood up for his country, protected his fellow Marine, and believed he was doing the right thing. He was so handsome when he smiled. Johnny loved his video games, movies and fast cars. He was devoted to his family. I had given him a Marine Corp bible before he left. When it was returned to me, he had written all of our names inside. He taped pictures of us in his body armor.
John was buried in Arlington Cemetery. I knew in my heart that this is where he would have wanted to be, with his buddies.
It’s has just been five years, and it doesn’t seem like five years. I’m still waiting for him to come crashing through our front door yelling “Ma, where are you?”
The hole in our hearts, the pain, will never subside. He was our “Johnny” and we will always keep him close. He is our Hero.
The portrait to the left is of John’s brother and best friend Dan. He wanted to be together with John.