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18 January 2022
COL (Ret) Claude Schmid
"Veteran's Last Patrol"
COLONEL (Ret) CLAUDE SCHMID
Colonel (Ret) Claude Schmid served 31 years in the U.S. Army. Commissioned as an Armor officer, he served in combat units around the world. During his military career, he held seven command positions, commanding at all levels through Brigade. He completed two tours of duty in Iraq, for which he was awarded two bronze stars. From 2004-05, he commanded a combined US-Iraqi Infrastructure Security Force which was tasked to secure, defend, and assist in the rebuilding of Iraq’s Northern Energy Infrastructure. From 2007-08, Claude returned to Iraq to serve as Commandant of the new Iraqi Military School System. He and a joint American, British and Australian team worked to equip, rebuild and train the Iraqi military. In his final duty position, Claude served three years as the Chief of the Army’s Wounded Warrior Flight Program. He led the Defense Department team charged with returning and welcoming America’s wounded back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and he personally met thousands of our wounded men and women. In performing these duties, Claude represented the nation’s senior leadership in greeting many families of the wounded as they and their service members returned to the United States for medical treatment. Witnessing the hardship and pain, and hearing their stories, reaffirmed for him the unbreakable strength of our nation as demonstrated by America’s Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen and the special importance of our obligations to its veterans.
Claude, a first-generation American of Swiss heritage, grew up in upstate SC. He did eight years of scouting and is an Eagle Scout. He became an avid student of history, politics, and books. He graduated from Dorman High School and did his undergraduate studies at Wofford College, receiving a Bachelor ‘s degree in Economics and Government. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University and a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. He has served on Operation Homefront’s Advisory Board of Directors. His Iraq war novel, Princes of War, was published in 2016, a book he wrote to highlight the special courage and commitment of our warriors.
Believing that no veteran should depart this life without a friend nearby, Claude volunteers extensively for veterans in hospice. In 2019, he founded www.veteranlastpatrol.org, a non-profit dedicated to bringing veteran friends to veterans in end-of-life care
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