Marine knew strength of a team

Juanita Cebulak

Lance Corporal found his purpose after joining the service

When Marine Lance Corporal Edward August “Augie” Schroeder II of Streetsboro was a boy, he wasn’t allowed to play with guns, said his mother, Rosemary Palmer. She didn’t want to raise her son to be “cannon fodder.”

Then as a teenager in high school, he began to play with computer games, Palmer said. Many of the games required shooting at targets, some of them imaginary people.

After he joined the Marines, Schroeder became a target himself when a roadside bomb struck his amphibious assault vehicle in Iraq on Aug. 3, 2005. It killed him and 13 of his fellow Marines.

“I think he went into a zone where combat was just a reality-based computer game,” Palmer said.

When his father was working in China, Schroeder went to preschool there, Palmer said. There he learned to put the group first and the individual second.

Later, he enjoyed team sports, such as peewee football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and swimming. He liked hanging out with his teammates.

Every summer, he attended Camp Glen Gray in Mahwah, N.J., a Cub Scout facility, Palmer said. First he was a camper, then a junior counselor, a waterfront counselor and finally an Old Guard Advisor.

Schroeder always liked being part of the team, Palmer said. As a Marine, he was a comrade in a close group.

Maralynn Fahey, who was Schroeder’s youth group leader, said that he was a selfless person. After they collected food for the needy, Schroeder helped them deliver 500 bags, which was hard work, she said.

After Sept. 11, many people were seized by a “patriotic fever,” Palmer said. Many young people felt they should go into the service to protect their family and friends, she said.

At that time, Schroeder was attending Ohio State where he majored in criminal justice. His classes weren’t exciting to him, Palmer said. He was looking for a purpose, and he thought he found it in the Marines.

He went into the Marine Reserves because he wanted to attend college, and he could train on weekends and during vacation. In case his country needed him, Palmer said her son wanted to be ready.

“The Marines had the reputation of being the most challenging,” Palmer said. “If you pass the Marine’s basic training, it proves you are one of the best, he told us,” Palmer said.

Contact public affairs reporter Juanita Cebulak at [email protected].