Cynthia Schmitz

I come from a long family history of military service.

Cynthia SchmitzMy great grandfather served in the Civil War, my grandfather served in the South Pacific during World War II. My father, along with my father in-law are both Vietnam War veterans and my brother, my husband and myself served in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. I have also served in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM as well as the defense of South Korea. In my family “service” is a core value.

In 2014, while I was stationed at Misawa Air Base in Japan, I read an article published by public affairs. This article highlighted the strong bond between the members of Osan Air Base and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10216. In honor of Women’s History Month the post dedicated a wall in their canteen to highlight women’s contributions in the military and recognizing those women that also fought for freedom. I was inspired by this article and once I came to the local area on a permanent tour, I sought out Post 10216.  

I arrived at Osan Air Base in late 2014 and was immediately recruited by a co-worker; Dean Yoder. At that time I only knew Post 10216 through the article I had read but I was excited at the thought of continuing the effort of highlighting the contributions of “Women in the Military,” therefore I volunteered to be the primary lead for the “Women in the Military” committee.

This was just the beginning for me. As I spent time with the members of Post 10216 I began to grow as a leader, person and veteran. As time moved on I was nominated for various positions ultimately leading to my selection as the 2016-2017 Post Commander and the first female to serve in this role in the Pacific theater. 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10216 is a family, from the first minute people enter they feel welcomed. This is a safe place were everyone can be themselves and still be accepted regardless of branch of service, ethnicity, gender, religion, age or disability. I refer to Post 10216 as “home”, and my “comrades” are my brothers and sisters. We share laughs, stories, and even tears when we lose a comrade.  

We work together for the community and support veteran’s concerns, we travel together to conferences and we are united for the good of the order! The Colonel Lewis L. Millett Hill 180 Memorial Post 10216 has a long and proud history, dating back to 1964 and I am honored to become a part of that history.

When it comes to the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the core element we share is “service” and it is because of our service that we remain united as comrades and family. Without a doubt “no one does more for veterans” and our post is no exception.

I love the VFW and will do my best to carry on the tradition and strong camaraderie that binds our veteran community.


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