Column: Honoring Marine Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman
Last updated 3/21/2019 at 11:33am
This week, the Tri-Cities community will come together in honor of U.S. Marine Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman of Richland.
In a formal ceremony, community members, family, friends, Marine Corps brothers-in-arms, and local leaders will designate the U.S. Postal Service facility at 4801 West Van Giesen Street in West Richland as the “Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman Post Office Building.”
Sgt. Schmieman was serving in the 2nd Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina when he tragically lost his life in a cargo plane crash in Mississippi on July 10, 2017.
While the post office will be named in honor of Sergeant Schmieman, I introduced the renaming legislation because the community recognizes the sacrifice of the 15 other men and women who lost their lives in the crash and all who have paid the highest price while serving our country.
Last July, the entire Washington state delegation in the House of Representatives supported the bill’s passage, and in November, the Senate also passed it with the support of Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell. President Trump signed it into law in December. Dietrich Schmiemans’ parents, Eric and Susan, best described the intent of this effort to memorialize their son: “It is our hope that the renamed facility will remind users not only of Dietrich, but of all those who have served under arms and given their all for our nation.”
Dietrich Schmieman grew up in Richland with his two brothers, Aaron and Hans. He attended Christ the King Catholic School, Hanford High School, and then Columbia Basin College. In 2010, he made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. It was his goal to serve within Special Operations Command.
During the time of his service, he earned 14 awards and decorations, including several Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medals, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He completed two overseas deployments serving our nation during Operation Enduring Freedom. He achieved his goal, serving as a Critical Skills Operator in the U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. By all accounts, he was a loyal and loving friend.
A verse in the Bible that was important to Sgt. Schmieman was Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
In the spirit of that passage, we remember the noble sacrifice of Dietrich Schmieman and those who lost their lives with him. We remember that he was faithful in friendship and in service to our country. He truly lived up to the Marine motto, Semper Fidelis.