Baldwinsville (WSYR-TV) -- Corporal Kyle Schneider became determined to join the Marines after his junior high school field trip to Washington D.C. was canceled on September 11, 2001. His patriotic spirit was brighter than ever and it never dimmed.
At the age of 17, Schneider informed his mother that he'd signed up for the military after meeting recruiters in his high school cafeteria. Lorie Schneider convinced her son to attend college first. He agreed to go to classes for one year. At the age of 20, Schneider was ready to advance his military career. Again, his mom asked him to hold off until he was 21. After serving on a presidential security detail in Washington D.C., Schneider felt a sense of duty to pull his weight overseas.
"He said, 'Mama, it’s my turn', and I said, 'It's your turn?', and he said, 'Now Mama, it’s time for me to bring home a brother, a son, a father, a husband. Mama, it’s my turn,” said Schneider’s mother, Lorie.
Seven months later, just days shy of his scheduled return home from a tour in Afghanistan, Schneider was killed in action. His body was sent to Arlington National Cemetery.
"He would take his weekly runs to Arlington and pay his honor and remembrance to all that were there. Arlington was special to him. D.C. was very special to him," explained Lorie Schneider.
Lorie and her husband Rick had traveled to Washington D.C. many times to visit their son before his deployment overseas. The Marine made it clear that he wanted to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery if he did not survive his service in the military.
"He was just a typical kid who played baseball, could have been the kid next door...and frequently they are the kid next door, who does extraordinary things and made an extraordinary sacrifice,” said Rick Schneider.
Nearly a year after his death, Schneider is being remembered as anything but typical, as his congresswoman, Ann Marie Buerkle, gathers support for a bill that would dedicate the Baldwinsville Post Office to a local boy who loved his country. Buerkle's office confirms that 26 members have signed on to support the bill. The measure would have to make it through a committee for recommendation to the full floor of the House of Representatives, before it's considered by the Senate, and possibly sent to the President.
"We’re on one of the most sorrowful journeys we've ever been on and at the same time, it’s filled with gratitude and honor and remembrance,” Lorie said.
Schneider's family did not ask for this recognition. The support, at times, has felt overwhelming. They greet each new day with hope that the Marine who smiled wide in full fatigues, in the middle of 115 degree heat, is inspiring others to remember the sacrifices of all veterans.
“It's our turn to make a difference,” Lorie continued. “Everyday until our last day we will talk about him. We don't want him ever forgotten.”