LCPL Benjamin Schmidt was killed in Afghanistan last year by friendly fire. Before he joined the Marines, he was studying at Texas Christian University. After his Marine service, he had planned to return to TCU to study history. He enjoyed TCU so much that he designated TCU to receive one-half of his $200,000 life insurance policy. His father was surprised at first. But, he and his wife told Ben they would match the $100,000 if anything happened to his son.
Now, there is a $500,000 endowed professorship at TCU in Ben Schmidt’s name. See San Antonio Express News report. People sometimes wonder why I served 28 years in the Army and Army Reserve. This is why: so I could serve with young men and women like LCPL Ben Schmidt.
Dr. Schmidt, Ben’s father, and his wife plan to raise another $500,000. How can they do otherwise? They are following their son’s example.
When I was a young ROTC cadet at TCU in the late 1970’s, I was concerned about the morality of war. The TCU library afforded me some fine books on the subject. One of my religion professors served in World War II. I mentioned my concerns to him once. He told me how when he served in the Army during World War II as a chaplain, he sometimes had to fuss with field grade officers over the proper place of chaplains and religion in the men’s lives. I knew then that morality and the Army could co-exist and even thrive together.
Yes, TCU is a good place for Ben Schmidt’s memory.