In the days since his tragic loss, two narratives have emerged about Bill Schroeder. The first is that he went down swinging, fighting off the gunman who ultimately took his life and saving lives in the process. The second is that before that fateful day, he touched scores of airmen through steadfast and superb leadership … and was a cherished teammate, family man, and friend to many.
This excerpt from Sig Christensen’s amazing coverage of Schroeder’s memorial ceremony, along with the photo featured above, are moving and powerful testimonials to the man we lost, and to the lasting influence his life will have on many of the Air Force’s most badass airmen:
“If Bill Schroeder were standing here today, I have no doubt that this is what he would tell you: ‘Go home, kiss your spouse, hug your kids, call your parents, take care of your family,’” said Chaplain Thaddaeus Werner. “He would say, ‘Do your job well, men; it matters.’ And he would say, ‘Take care of your wingmen and your Air Force family.’”
It’s an incredible and unthinkable loss for the service and for his family, but Bill Schroeder was clearly a lion of a man whose legacy will live on for a long time to come. He’ll be buried in Arlington, as it should be, and was posthumously decorated with the Airman’s Medal.