August 2012 Warrior in the Spotlight - CW3 Scott Schroeder

CW3 Scott Schroeder

Home Town: Fort Wayne, IN

Age: 46

Branch: US Army

Rank: CW3

Unit: 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)                     

   Scott's Story:

    Life Doesn’t Always Follow Your Plan

    Scott Schroeder grew up in the typical fashion in Ft Wayne, Indiana. He was athletic and participated in many high
    school sports. He enjoyed literature as well. He was on that classic American trail of growing up, getting an education,
    and becoming an adult. Then things changed.

    At 20, Scott decided that he would enlist in the Army for Three years, it gave Scott a new perspective which led him to
    a career in the Special Forces. Along with him for that change was Laura. Over the years, Scott rose through the ranks
    and became a Master Sergeant, which is the point at which many men begin to look at retiring. Not Scott. In 2004,
    he made the choice to change again and went to Warrant Officer School. In 2005, he pinned on the rank of WO1.

    Scott loves the Army and Special Forces, but he recognizes that a career in Special Forces is similar to a career in
    professional sports. It can be great while it lasts, but it won’t last forever.

    “You know no one ever expects to have your number pulled. That always happens to the ‘other’ guy. But, ours did,
    and we couldn’t have successfully pulled through this without all of you out there,” wrote Laura after their homecoming
    gathering in July of this year.

    That sentiment of not having your number pulled is an almost universal thought among SOF operators at all levels. That
    is part of what enables operators to continue to execute mission after mission after mission. Scott’s number was pulled
    on December 10, 2010. While he was on a mission to conduct Village Stability Operations, his vehicle struck a pressure
    plate that detonated an IED right beneath him. Interestingly enough, Schroeder’s vehicle wasn’t the first one in the
    column, but the sixth.

    The explosion caused such damage to Scott’s body that both of his legs were amputated in the field above the knee and
    his right arm was severely mangled by fractures, tissue loss, and shrapnel. When he was finally stabilized, he was
    evacuated back to Walter Reed to begin his recovery. Laura and their son, Zach, along with Scott’s parents met Scott
    at his bedside where he began his work toward recovery. His first five months were filled with surgery after surgery
    (over 30 and still counting) to salvage his arm and stabilize his amputated legs. Problems with infections and
    medications slowed down his recovery process in addition to the problem of not being able to practice with his
    prosthetic legs due to the possibility of falling and further damaging his arm.

    As Scott’s recovery progressed, he was changed to out-patient status. He and Laura were able to move into an apartment
    provided by SOCOM that was a few minutes’ drive away from the hospital. Laura wrote, “Though it wasn’t ‘home’, it
    was refreshing to say ‘good-bye’ to five months of hotel living.”

    Improvements continued, and Scott began to regain some independence. That allowed Laura to begin thinking about
    some changes of her own. She began to pursue a Masters’ Degree in Landscape Architecture at Morgan State University
    in Baltimore. She will complete her degree at the end of this year.

    A major motivating factor for Scott has been his desire to return to his home in Tennessee; something that he made
    into a reality this past June. He has stopped using his wheelchair, and now opts for his prosthetics and a walker,
    but insists that he will stop using the walker very soon. Scott will continue to have corrective surgeries on his
    arm to improve his mobility and usage.

    What lies ahead for CW3 Scott Schroeder and his family is unknown. What is inevitable is that life will continue to
    change. Scott wrote, “I am not quite ready to start making new plans. I am going to continue moving ahead and looking
    at options until I find something I truly enjoy.”

   Career Highlights:
   1987 - 1991 - Basic, AIT, Airborne School
   1991 - 1992 - 1st SOCOM Detachment - Ft. Bragg NC.
   1992 - 2005 - 5th Special Forces Group - Ft. Campbell Ky. Enlisted
   2005 - 2010 - 5th Special Forces Group - Ft. Campbell Ky. Warrant
   Civilian Education Highlights:

   1 yr Fayetteville Technical Community College
   2 yrs Central Texas Community College

   Military Education Highlights:

   Asset Validation Course
   Special Forces Advanced Recon and Target Exploitation Course
   Advanced Special Operations Techniques
   Special Operations Target Interdiction Course
   Warrant Officer Basic Course
   Special Operations Targeting
   MFF Jumpmaster Course
   SL Jumpmaster Course

     CW3 Schroeder with Friends and Family:
    Scott Schroeder with his wife Laura and son Zach
    Dive at Key West sponsored by the Task Force Dagger Foundation
     Photo Links about Scott:
     Videos and Articles about Scott:
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