Monday, May 25, 2009

On this Memorial Day: 1LT. Roslyn L. Schulte

1st Lt. Roslyn L. Schulte, 25, of St. Louis, Mo., died May 20 near Kabul, Afghanistan of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. She was assigned to the Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

Lt. Schulte is the first female graduate of the Air Force Academy ever to die from enemy fire.

Robert Schulte remembers asking his 2-year-old daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up. "Chairman of the board," she replied.

Robert Schulte recalled the moment through tears Wednesday, just hours after Air Force representatives informed him that his only daughter, 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte, 25, had been killed by a roadside bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Department of Defense had no further details on the attack.

"Even at that age, she didn't say she wanted to be president, she wanted to be the leader," Schulte said of his daughter, whom most knew as Roz. "She wanted to be in charge. And she was."

She was named after her maternal grandmother, Roslyn Littman, who along with her husband, Ellis, was killed in a fire in 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Like the grandmother she never met, Lt. Schulte showed signs of being a natural leader early in life.

Robert Schulte remembers how his daughter as a young girl organized a group of her peers on the first day of summer camp to perform a play.
At John Burroughs School, she captained the lacrosse team and became an all-American lacrosse player.

Her parents said that while on the field, any time one of Boeing's F-15s flew overhead, she paused in admiration and spoke of how one day she would be a fighter pilot.

Family friends who gathered at the Schultes' home Wednesday remembered how some had questioned Roslyn Schulte about the idea of working in a group made up mostly of men.

"Do you think they are going to bully me?" she would defiantly respond.

She went to the Air Force Academy after graduating from high school in 2002. It was the perfect move to keep up with her only sibling, brother Todd Schulte, 28, who graduated from Harvard University and is now chief of staff to Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y.

At the Air Force Academy, Roslyn Schulte majored in political science, interned for former Sen. Alan Allard, R-Colo., became a group commander — one of the academy's highest positions — and captained the lacrosse team, said her mother, Suzie Schulte.

Robert Schulte said: "She would call me and say, 'Dad, all these guys might fly the planes, but they follow me.' She was a leader."

Lt. Schulte graduated in 2006 and went into military intelligence instead of aviation. She went to Afghanistan in February.

Her parents said she worked with Afghan military officials teaching them how to gather and interpret intelligence.

"She knew how to talk to chiefs of staff, to generals, to privates, and they listened," Robert Schulte said. "And that's what we needed, a great leader of people." She was to return to the United States in August.

Robert Schulte said he had talked to his daughter less than 24 hours before learning of her death, updating her on the progress of the Burroughs' lacrosse team. Lately, she frequently spoke of her boyfriend — an Air Force pilot whom the Schultes had yet to meet.

He called and spoke to the Schultes Wednesday. "My little girl is gone," Robert Schulte told him.

The Schultes said funeral arrangements were pending.


Lt. Schulte was the classiest young officer and young lady I had the privilege and great joy to work with in my 23 years in the Air Force. We fed off her energy, and she became a "go-to" type immediately upon her arrival at her first unit here in Hawaii. I could write a book full of nothing but great things to say about her. She was special. I pray God will comfort her family and loved ones through this tragedy.With utmost respect and love, MSgt Scotty Corwin, USAF, Retired

The United States Air Force lost one of their most talented and respected officers. I have worked under Lieutenant Schulte several times while stationed in Hawaii, and I can honestly say that she was the best. Many young Lieutenants, like Schulte, are in a learning phase within their career - learning how to lead, and how to handle the pressures of the military.However, from the first time I met Schulte, I was amazed. While working with her, I can speak for several Airmen by saying that we all respected her, and would follow her anywhere. She commanded respect: although she was young, she was a brilliant leader - she handled pressure better than any other officer that I've worked with - and yet she was humble, and listened to those who she led.I hope that her family, friends, and loved ones can find comfort in knowing that Lieutenant Schulte was truly the best. Her passing is not only a loss to the Air Force, but to this country - a country that she so gallantly served for, and sacrificed her life for. I will never forget her - her leadership will live on forever.With my deepest sympathy, SrA Andrew Norton, USAF, Hawaii

I met Roz on the first day she showed up to work in Hawaii. I was immediately impressed by her permanent smile and her positive attitude. This beautiful woman was taken too early and she will be missed always by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was one of the Air Force's finest and her loss is devastating. To the Schulte family, may you find comfort in knowing how adored and revered your daughter truly was. She was indeed a true leader and warrior. May God be with you all. My deepest heartfelt sympathy. Capt Alicia Meighan, USAF, Ft. Gordon, GA

I just returned from Kabul, Afghanistan 2 weeks ago and had the privilege of working with Roz Shulte on a daily basis. She was a true professional that enjoyed the mission given to her, mentoring the Afghan National Army Intelligence personnel. Her enthusiastic, passionate and energetic attitude was contagious and she was always able to bring a smile to the faces of all her co-workers, even in the worst of times. She was a dynamic leader, outstanding role model, highly respected and also a friend. It was an honor to know her and my family's thoughts and prayers are with her family in this very difficult time. With my deepest sympathy and highest regards. William Briese, Hillsboro, Mo.

[the above courtesy of the Living Legend Team, Soldiers' Angels]

And from CJ at YouServed:
God Speed 1LT. Roslyn L. Schulte

I’m posting with permission from the author. This story was on her Facebook page and I wanted to share it with all of you:

From my friend~a Navy Lt serving in Afghanistan:

Yesterday, my closest friend for the last couple months, Roslyn Schulte, was killed in a roadside bombing halfway between here and Bagram. She is one of the most incredible people I have ever known, and I want to tell you about her. I had only known her about three months, but she was assigned to my unit, and so, she and I being the only two junior officers in the group, she had the unfortunate pleasure of having to hangout with me. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we did not eat at least one meal of the day together since she arrived here in early March.

Ros was truly an exceptional person. Usually when you hear that about someone who just died, it’s almost always exaggeration, if not pure BS. With Ros, it’s not. She passed up on the Ivy leagues to go to the Air Force Academy...

Go over to YouServed here, and spend some time learning about another exceptional American.

Today, on this Memorial Day, and EVERY day, let us give thanks - and honour - that such heroes serve their country.

1 comment:

Dean said...

So pretty...God speed Roslyn.

"...fair winds and a following sea..."