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Old 12-28-2006, 08:59 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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Cpl Joshua M. Schmitz USMC, 21, Spencer, WI (Iraq)

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Cpl. Joshua M. Schmitz, 21, of Spencer, Wis.

Lance Cpl. William C. Koprince Jr., 24, of Lenoir City, Tenn.

Schmitz died December 26 and Koprince on December 27 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Both Marines were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

For further information in regard to these Marines the media can contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 450-6575.

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Old 12-29-2006, 03:06 AM
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Marine, 22, persevered when enlisting, then while serving
Death is small city's 2nd in Iraq, 2 years apart
Posted: Dec. 27, 2006

Two years to the day after the small central Wisconsin city of Loyal learned one of its native sons had been killed in Iraq, the same terrible news arrived again.

Josh Schmitz, 22, a Marine who played on Loyal's high school football team all four years, was killed the day after Christmas.

Two years ago, Staff Sgt. Todd Olson, 36, a local banker who was a member of the Loyal School Board and the Chamber of Commerce, died Dec. 26 when he was hit by a roadside bomb in Samarra, Iraq.

Two deaths two years apart have stunned the community of 1,300, former Mayor Arthur Olsen said Wednesday.

"It's a really sad day for Loyal," Olsen said.

Schmitz joined the Marines shortly after he graduated in 2003 from Loyal High School and was on a second tour in Iraq. The Green Bay Packers fan, joker and drummer returned home on leave for a few weeks when his father, Mark Schmitz, a furniture-business owner in Loyal, hurt his hand.

His second cousin Kristie Schmitz said he had a problem with his feet that could have prevented him from joining the military, but Schmitz persevered and was accepted into the Marines.

"I just remember he has curly hair and he was really excited about going in the military because he could shave his head and get rid of the curls," said Kristie Schmitz, who was in the same Loyal graduation class as her cousin.

A man who answered the phone at Schmitz's home directed questions to Marine Capt. Tony Mitchell, who said he could not comment because the Defense Department had not reported the death.

The details of Schmitz's death were not disclosed Wednesday. He is the 67th Wisconsin military member to die in the war.

Schmitz, who had four brothers and two sisters, played drums in a band that performed at an annual fair in Marshfield and at weddings. He was also a drummer in his high school band and sometimes helped a friend work as a disc jockey.

Joe Anderson, chorus director at Loyal High School, saw his former student in July, and they spoke for about an hour about Iraq. Anderson said Schmitz knew, as a Marine, that he had a duty to perform.

"I really feel bad he's gone. That's one thing about being a teacher," Anderson said. "It hurts a lot to see students pass on before you. It's very sad, for sure. . . he was just an A-1 super kid."

Schmitz is the fourth Wisconsin military member to die in Iraq this month. Army Pvt. Evan Bixler, 21, of Racine died Sunday. Marine Capt. Kevin Kryst, 27, of West Bend was fatally wounded Dec. 18. And Marine Lance Cpl. Jesse Tillery, 19, of Vesper died Dec. 2 from wounds suffered during combat in Anbar province.

Kristie Schmitz said her cousin loved the Marines.

"He was just a great person. That pretty much sums it up," Kristie Schmitz said. "He really deserved to live a long life. It's sad he didn't get to do that."
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:49 AM
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A public funeral service will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Loyal High School, 514 West Central Street, for Marine Cpl. Joshua Schmitz, who was killed in Iraq on Tuesday.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday in the school gymnasium.

Funeral services for his family and friends will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 207 N. Division St. Military honors will be given at graveside at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in St. Anthony’s Catholic Cemetery.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:48 AM
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LOYAL -- Joshua Mark Schmitz was born on Jan. 16, 1985, in Marshfield, the son of Mark and Kelly (Gilles) Schmitz. He attended St. Anthony's Catholic School and graduted from Loyal High School in 2003.

Josh enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on Sept. 15, 2003. He graduated from basic training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Dec. 12, 2003. He was then stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he served with Lima Company until he began his first tour in Iraq on Feb. 15, 2005.

On Dec. 26, 2006, at the age of 21, Josh died from injuries he sustained while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Josh was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.

At home in Loyal, Josh was a loving son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin and a good friend to many. He was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and enjoyed playing football in high school and playing drums in the 3rd Tri Rock band that he and two high school friends, Travis Strey and Brent Motion, formed. Josh was not only willing to serve his country, but was always willing to help others out.

He will be sadly missed by his parents, Mark and Kelly Schmitz of Spencer; two sisters, Angela (Kevin) Colby of Loyal and Stephanie Schmitz, at home; three brothers, Justin, Brandon and Nick, all at home; his maternal grandparents, Ken and Bonnie (Heier) Gilles of Medford; his paternal grandparents, Marlin and Virginia (Wolf) Schmitz of Granton; one nephew, Jorden Bennett of Loyal; one niece, Paige Colby of Loyal; several aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Josh's name are being accepted at Citizens State Bank in Loyal.

A public funeral service will be held at 7 p.m. today at the Loyal High School gymnasium. Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at the gymnasium.

A private family service at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, with burial in St. Anthony's Cemetery, will follow at a later date.

Full military rites will be conducted by a U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard.

Cuddie Funeral Home of Loyal is assisting the family with arrangements.

Last edited by cmyr; 12-25-2008 at 01:42 PM.
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