The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Corporal Kyle R. Schneider, 23, of Phoenix, New York, died June 30, 2011, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Nothing was going to stop Kyle Schneider from becoming a Marine and going to war.
Not the urgings of his family to go to college. He attended Onondaga Community College for one year. Not the offer from his great aunt to buy him a new car if he didn’t enlist.
Richard and Lorie Schneider, with their son, Kyle R. Schneider, after his graduation
from basic training as a U.S. Marine at Parris Island, S.C. in June 2008.
The 2006 graduate of Baldwinsville’s Baker High School saw his life goal through. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated near the top of his class. He was offered training for a presidential security assignment in Washington, D.C., his grandparents said. He turned that down, too. He wanted to fight.
Corporal Kyle R. Schneider, of Phoenix, Oswego County, died Thursday in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, killed by an improvised explosive device. He was 23.
Schneider was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
He was the 45th U.S. soldier to die in Afghanistan in June, and the eighth last week. That brought the U.S. death toll for the war in Afghanistan to 1,649.
The improvised explosive device was the second he’d encountered in a month, said his grandfather, Richard Vrotny, of Van Buren. The first blast knocked him unconscious, sent him to a hospital and left him with a concussion, hearing loss and headaches. Within 48 hours, he was back in the fight.
His parents, Richard and Lorie Schneider, and his brother, Kevin, were at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, Saturday, for the return of his remains. A memorial service will be scheduled for him in Baldwinsville, his grandparents said.
His grandparents remember him smiling, always smiling — the countenance of a positive disposition.
That relaxed smile appears over and over in family photos, right up through this past Christmas.
“That’s not a staged smile,” his grandfather said.
A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Corporal Kyle R. Schneider Saturday at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware
It was Christmas Eve when he proposed to his girlfriend, Theresa Dodge, an Air Force medic from West Columbia, Texas. They’d met when both were on assignment in Washington, D.C. Schneider had placed a diamond ring on the Christmas tree at his parents’ house, and directed Dodge’s attention to that “beautiful ornament,” the story goes.
Schneider took the Marine motto “Honor, courage, commitment” to heart, his grandparents and his great aunt, Carole Ozark, of Weedsport, said.
He called them all from Afghanistan, just checking in, connecting with them. He called from the hospital after his first bomb blast and told his grandfather “the good thing is, I’ve had my first bath in six weeks,” Richard Vrotny recalled.
The Vrotnys still have one of his quick, 30-second messages on their answering machine.
“Just want to say I love you guys and want to keep in contact as much as I can,” he says in the message.
On June 16, a few weeks after his first bomb blast, he called his great aunt, Carole Ozark.
How are you? she asked.
“I’m doing OK,” he said. “It’s so beautiful over here. I look to the west and I see mountains. I look to the left and I see desert.”
Kyle, when are you coming home?
“Aunt Carole,” he said, “I can’t tell you that.”
Corporal Kyle R. Schneider, 23, of Phoenix, died Thursday, June 30, 2011, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was born in Syracuse and raised in the Baldwinsville, New York, area.
Kyle was a graduate of Baker High School and attended OCC for one year in the criminal justice program. While at Baker High, he played baseball, football and ran track. Kyle loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman.
In March 2008, Kyle joined the US Marine Corps and graduated from Boot Camp in June 2008. He attended the School of Infantry in July and graduated in September 2008; from September to October he attended the Marine Corps Security Forces Training. In October of 2008, he was with the Guard Company Marine Barracks in Washington, DC. In May 2010, he was transferred to Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, II Marine Expeditionary Force. In January 2011, he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to 3rd Platoon.
His military awards consist of: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, ISAF NATO Medal.
He was predeceased by his paternal grandfather and godfather, Rohe Schneider, Jr. Survivors: his parents, Richard and Lorie Schneider; a brother, Kevin Schneider of Phoenix; his fiancee, Theresa Lynn Dodge of W. Columbia, TX; his maternal grandparents, Richard and Dianne Vrotny of Baldwinsville and maternal grandfather Gary E. (Helen A.) Younis; his paternal grandparents, Carol Schneider and John Rouselle of Central Square; his aunt and godmother, Carole Ozark, as well as, aunts and uncles: Joe Younis, Rolie Breeden, Doug Vrotny, Ken and Kelly Schneider, Dave and Lori Schneider, Sherri and CSM Dave Jarvis and several cousins.
Services: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, 2011, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 4947 Route 31, Clay. Burial will be in Arlington Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Calling hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 8, 2011, at Baker High School gymnasium, 29 E. Oneida St., Baldwinsville. Cpl. Schneider will be arriving in Syracuse on Thursday, when the Governor has asked that flags be flown at half-staff. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, to the Baldwinsville Community Scholarship Committee, In Memory of Corporal Kyle R. Schneider, PO Box 88, Baldwinsville, New York.
- SCHNEIDER, KYLE RICHARD
- CPL US MARINE CORPS
- DATE OF BIRTH: 01/08/1988
- DATE OF DEATH: 06/30/2011
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9720
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard