Warrior Wednesday

Navy CDR Robert A. Schlegel

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Died due to the events of September 11th, 2001 at the Pentagon.

CDR Schlegel was originally from Gray, Maine. He was known for his keen wit, forthright nature and avid interest in ice hockey and football. CDR Schlegel carried on a Navy tradition deeply embedded in his family as his father and two brothers also served in the Navy. CDR Schlegel was devoted to his wife, Dr. Dawn Schlegel, and shared many wonderful memories of their times together in high school, college and 13 years of marriage. He lives on in the hearts of his many friends, colleagues and family.

A Living Memorial to CDR Schlegel is below:

Dear Ones,

I could not have imagined the impact that participating in TSP would have on me. Last weekend, I had the honor of carrying Naval Commander Robert Allen Schlegel’s memorial stone to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. I learned about TSP from a dear friend who was completely moved by her involvement in the 2014 Memorial Day Weekend hike at Katahdin. I was intrigued and signed up, in full support of the premise that our soldiers should never be forgotten.

While I was without any connection to the military or military families in my present day-to-day existence (until last weekend!), my upbringing was certainly shaped by several missing ancestors. Most directly, my father grew up never knowing his father, who was killed in WWII when he was just 6 months old. I faithfully wore the POW bracelets in the 1970’s given me by my mom and dad during Vietnam. I was in elementary school, but well aware of the fear, anxiety, and loss all around me.

Fast forward all these years to Cadillac Mountain on October 4. I learned as much as I could about Rob Schlegel before that day and was overwhelmed by the experience. Rob was killed on 9/11 at the Pentagon at a moment in time that I will never forget. None of us will ever forget in our own personal ways. But the fact that I was assigned to carry his memorial stone is particularly amazing to me.

Now, there is no way that anyone could have known the common interests I share with Rob. We were the same age on 9/11, we both shared an interest in higher learning and international affairs, loved Maine and our families. Everything I have read about Rob – the tributes from colleagues, and especially his wife, leads me to believe that he was a sentimental, down to earth, and caring person. And he was witty and funny too! Qualities we all strive to emulate.

Moreover, in researching Rob, I learned that his college fraternity started a scholarship fund in his name after his death. Rob graduated with high honors from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA, and went on to achieve a Masters in International Affairs. The “Schlegel Prize” funds students at W&L to attend “conferences on foreign affairs.” Well, I happen to direct a prominent foreign affairs Conference right here in Camden, Maine.

I believe that the fact that I was assigned his stone is no accident. My hope is that I can provide a link between students from Rob’s Alma mater and the Maine that he loved so much! I can think of no better way to continue his memory than to bring like-minded students to Maine to learn about foreign affairs – a subject that Rob held dear. I truly hope to facilitate a connection between The Summit Project, Rob’s family in Maine, and the Schlegel Award – all together in some extraordinarily meaningful way.

I am forever indebted to Naval Commander Robert Allen Schlegel and his family for their sacrifice and grateful for this opportunity to keep his memory alive.

The bonds created last Saturday and the support I received from my Team Kebo colleagues were incredible! In just one day, I gained lifelong friends and comrades whom I hold close to my heart forever. Thank you to Major Dave and The Summit Project!

Never Forget.

Respectfully,
Kimberly Scott
Lincolnville, Maine

TMCV reminds our readers that The Summit Project, the families of the fallen, and the hikers providing these living memorials are not associated with The Maine Conservative Voice in any way and do not necessarily endorse, condone, or validate the views, opinions, and agenda regularly expressed by TMCV on this web blog.  Warrior Wednesday is simply an opportunity, once a week, to honor Maine’s fallen heroes free from political intrigue and strife. The Summit Project does not identify with a political party or idealogical persuasion. TSP reveals the character of Maine, a character of service, sacrifice, duty, and Patriotism. Please support The Summit Project and all they do for Maine’s fallen heroes.

MHANF

Warrior Wednesday

Army Sgt. Jason W. Swiger

Jason Swiger

24, of South Portland, Maine; assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died March 25 in Baqubah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Also killed were Cpl. Jason Nunez, Pfc. Orlando E. Gonzalez and Pfc. Anthony J. White.

Here is a living memorial testimonial to Army Sgt. Jason Swiger:

Zachary Sotiriou says

October 10, 2014 at 6:59 am

On October 4th I took part on The Summit Project’s hike up Mt. Cadillac. I had the humble honor of carrying the stone of SGT. Jason W. Swiger. In the weeks leading up to the hike I did a lot of research on this brave young man. He was a poet, singer and had planned on making the military his career. I found more than one testimonial about Jason’s great sense of right and wrong and how he always stood up for what he believed in. He was a selfless person who grew up amongst many foster children. As I hiked the mountain it was not lost on me the significance of his sacrifice for this country. Were it not for the actions of this great soul and many others like him I may never have even had the opportunity or freedom to take part in a leisurely hike let alone one with this much significance. When times got a little tougher on the mountain I just envisioned what Jason had been through and how he wouldn’t let something as small as rain, wind or slick rocks stop him from reaching his goal. This gave me all the strength I could ever need to complete the hike. I feel now that I have a new appreciation for Jason and all other fallen heroes. These people sacrificed their time, energy and lives all in the name of what they thought was right. Jason answered the call of his country and the amount of respect I have for him is endless. I pledge that I will do everything in my power to keep Jason’s memory alive. I will share his story and encourage others to do the same. Thank you to all my fellow hikers and The Summit Project for this incredible experience. Finally and most of all I want to thank the Swiger family for allowing me the honor of carrying Jason’s stone. Your hero, is not forgotten.

TMCV reminds our readers that The Summit Project, the families of the fallen, and the hikers providing these living memorials are not associated with The Maine Conservative Voice in any way and do not necessarily endorse, condone, or validate the views, opinions, and agenda regularly expressed by TMCV on this web blog.  Warrior Wednesday is simply an opportunity, once a week, to honor Maine’s fallen heroes free from political intrigue and strife. The Summit Project does not identify with a political party or idealogical persuasion. TSP reveals the character of Maine, a character of service, sacrifice, duty, and Patriotism. Please support The Summit Project and all they do for Maine’s fallen heroes.

MHANF

Cold, Hard, and Final

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The wind and snow had just begun to intensify as I slowly worked my way through the crags of rocks that bordered the final ascent to the peak. The whistle of the wind across the scrub oborestonepeakf the scraggly boughs in the tree line below seemed to swallow the sounds of scrapping snowshoes as my sons and I traversed the last few feet of snow swept, ice encrusted rock to the peak of Borestone Mountain. We waited, along with my nephew, on the top as the rest of our group appeared from the rocks below and made their way to the top, scaling the bluffs like ants picking their own varied approaches.

Almost immediately the hshawnclimbingikers began to pull layers from their packs that had been shed in the climb to cover themselves against the brisk wind and snow. Smiles and congratulations were shared all around as we munched on food and took in the stark wintry beauty around us. The mountain dressed in snow with the shades of grey and black exposed rock trimmed against the dark greens of the mountain conifers laid upon the backdrop of the icy ponds and winter mountains below was absolutely breathtaking. The satisfaction of conquering the mountain was palpable in the air as the snowshoeing warriors conversed together and surveyed their conquest. andrewonthepeak

The moments of revelry were short-lived, as those who have hiked in the wilderness for any length of time know that extended exposure to the harsh elements on a windswept mountain in a snow squall is not the better part of wisdom. We quickly changed our focus to primary reason for our hike. A sudden sense of gravity seemed to move amongst almost as if it were carried on the winds swirling around us.

Each of us removed from our pack a stone engraved with the name of a soldier that has fallen combat. There on that cold, snowy, peak we gathered in a circle to honor their sacrifice and bravery. With only the surrounding grey bleak cliffs, the ominous circling dark clouds, the cold wintry valleys below, and God above as our witness, we honored the fallen and pledged never to forget their sacrifice.

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PFC Tyler M. Springmann.

I carried the memorial stone of PFC Tyler M. Springmann. He was born in Hartland, Maine, not far from where I live. He was stationed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska with the Stryker Brigade. He was fun loving, loved people, and wanted to be loved. He had weakness for a good Whopper and preferred the outdoors.

He was 19 years old when he joined the army, went to war, and gave his all for you and me. As I sat on that mountain looking at that stone, picked from the driveway of Tyler’s grandparents home where he used to skateboard, I was struck by how cold and how final it felt to me. Beside me on that snowy mount where my two teenage sons, who are just a few years younger than Tyler was when he gave everything he could give for his country.

In that ceremony ring, there was a young man of 17, who had just joined the Marines, honoring a fallen marine. Beside him, his mother and sister. His mother carried the stone of a soldier who had also joined the military at 17, and the day of this hike was the anniversary of his sacrifice. There also a granddaughter who carried a stone honoring her grandfather, a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, who had recently passed on.cliffssummitprojectborestone isaacrepelling

As we climbed, at points repelled, down the mountain, I reflected on the small sacrifice we had made to climb the mountain in comparison to great price of freedom. It was a difficult climb to be sure. Two of our group could not finish due to injury. Still even the cold cliffs of that icy mountain cannot compare to the cold hard finality of the price of freedom. These heroes from Maine we honored on this hike knew full well that price and willingly gave it. It is for us that bask in the warmth of that freedom they purchased to vow never to forget its high cost. I will never forget Tyler M. Springmann and I will never stop fighting for freedom.
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