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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. Jason A. Schumann
Died May 19, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
23, of Hawley, Minn.; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.; died May 19 in Diwaniyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
Hawley soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
HAWLEY, Minn. — Jason Schumann is remembered by his high school principal as a delightful young man who always had a smile on his face.
The 23-year-old Army sergeant was killed May 19 when a bomb exploded near his vehicle in Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq, about 100 miles west of Baghdad, the Defense Department said May 22.
Schumann, of Hawley, was the 60th person with strong Minnesota ties who have died in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hawley High School Principal Mike Martin called his former student a “delightful young man in every regard,” known by some as “Tuba” for the instrument he played in the high school band.
“He was an extremely happy student, kind of a free spirit of sorts, but in a very good sort of way,” Martin said. “We just thoroughly enjoyed him as a student.”
His family’s pastor, the Rev. Tom Olson of Solem Lutheran Church, said Schumann’s unit was escorting a convoy to the Baghdad airport when it was attacked. Schumann was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, Olson said.
Schumann’s wife, Laura, and son, Joe, who will be 2 years old next month, were staying in her native England while he was deployed. They are expected in Hawley on May 24, Olson said.
His father and stepmother, Jim and Sherry Schumann, live in Rollag, 13 miles south of Hawley. His mother and stepfather, Candie Glisson and Russell Toth, live in Fargo, N.D., about 20 miles west of Hawley. They did not want to be interviewed, the pastor said.
Schumann was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.
Schumann, a native of Tucson, Ariz., moved to Hawley in 1999 and graduated from Hawley High School in 2002. He joined the Army soon after graduation.
Martin said Schumann sent an e-mail to his high school band director three months ago “thanking him for all he’d done for Tuba. He talked about learning dedication and discipline. For a 23-year-old to take time to reflect and convey that message, that says a lot about the kind of guy Tuba was.”
In addition to playing in band, Martin said Schumann was the school’s mascot during his senior year.
“We’re the ‘Nuggets’ and nobody knew what the mascot should look like,” Martin said. “But they put together an outfit with a Styrofoam pick ax, making him up like a gold miner or something, and he was out there at all the games when the cheerleaders were on the floor.”
Pastor Olson said Schumann was very talented, and read part of Schumann’s obituary that will be published next week in the Hawley Herald:
“He was a selfless leader, always putting his fellow soldiers’ needs before his own. ... He liked to sail and also built sailboats and enjoyed cross country running. He was a talented artist and enjoyed writing historical fiction.”
Funeral arrangements were pending, Olson said. Schumann will be buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Military officials said a memorial service will be held May 24 at Fort Polk.