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October 7th, 2013
Honoring Our Service Members

The Valero Alamo Bowl Board of Directors meets the first Thursday of every month during football season. Last week I sat next to David Schmidt who confided to my co-worker and I that he was struggling because of the timing of this particular meeting.

Two years ago after our October meeting Dr. Schmidt received a call walking to his car in the Alamodome parking lot alerting him his son (Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt, a U.S. Marine scout sniper) was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan.

Dr. Schmidt and his wife eloquently wrote an article for yesterday’s San Antonio Express-News that began “Every day in the United States, hundreds of families wake up to an anniversary they don’t want to celebrate; the heart-wrenching anniversary of a loved one who died in battle.”

At Benjamin’s funeral a friend told me “our kids are our greatest reward but also our great risk.” Read the Schmidt’s articleabout their son that illustrates what an impact he made on everyone who knew him and all he accomplished in his 24 years. His most courageous and fateful decision was to volunteer for his second tour because his platoon didn’t have any snipers with any combat experience.

Then learn more about the scholarship endowed in his name at heartofpurple.com and honor him by answering his parents’ closing request: “Reach out, remember and say thanks to all who answered a call to duty, because one thing we know for sure: Freedom is not free.”