Father of man killed in Iraq War dies
WILLMAR -- The father of a Willmar soldier killed in the war in Iraq has died. Gregory C. Schmit, 56, of Willmar, died Tuesday. A fundraising web page says that he "lost his battle with dealing with the loss of his son." U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Sch...
WILLMAR - The father of a Willmar soldier killed in the war in Iraq has died.
Gregory C. Schmit, 56, of Willmar, died Tuesday. A fundraising web page says that he “lost his battle with dealing with the loss of his son.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Schmit, 26, died April 14, 2007, in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded under his Humvee.
The fundraiser is to bring Josh’s widow, Andrea, to the U.S. for Greg’s funeral. She is a native of Germany and returned to her home country after Josh’s death.
The giveforward.com webpage to raise funds includes a note from Kim Schmit, Greg’s wife and Josh’s mother.
“With a very heavy, heavy heart, I am saddened to have to tell you all that our dear Greggie lost his battle with those ugly demons early this morning,” she wrote.
“ ... (He) finally has his son in his arms once more. Let him finally find that peace and contentment that I could not find for him!”
A sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard at the time, Greg Schmit was in training at Camp Ripley in 2007 when the family learned of their son’s death, according to West Central Tribune archives.
“I have known Greg for years while I dealt with things on my military collection. I got to know him more after the loss of his son, Josh, in April 2007,” Jon Lindstrand, a Willmar military historian, wrote Wednesday night on his Facebook page.
“I am truly saddened at the loss of Greg, and will miss him terribly,” Lindstrand wrote.
The Home Front Connection group launched an online fundraiser Thursday for the Schmit family. The $1,500 goal had already been raised by Thursday afternoon, according to Trisha Appledorn, Kandiyohi County’s veteran service officer, who was helping coordinate the fundraiser.
“Any additional funds over the goal will be shared with the (Schmit) family,” Appledorn said.
The fundraiser can be found by searching “Greg Schmit funeral” on the giveforward.com home page.
Visitation for Schmit will be from 5-7 p.m. Sunday at the Harvey Anderson Funeral Home of Willmar. The funeral will be at 11 a.m Monday at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar, with burial in Fairview Cemetery.