Ryan participates in dedication of the Waterford Post Office in honor of Captain Rhett W. Schiller
Joins Senator Ron Johnson in ceremony commemorating the life & service Captain Rhett W. Schiller
WATERFORD – Yesterday, Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan joined Senator Ron Johnson, Waterford Village President Tom Roanhouse, Waterford Postmaster Richard Gramza, and local residents in a dedication ceremony to rename the Waterford Post Office, located at 218 N. Milwaukee Street in Waterford, the “Captain Rhett W. Schiller Post Office.”
At the dedication ceremony, Congressman Ryan offered the following remarks:
“Bill and Karla Schiller, it is great to see you here. I first want to start out by saying that we had passed this bill in the House of Representatives a number of years ago but we couldn’t get it through the Senate, and that is why I want to thank our Senator Ron Johnson for getting the job done, getting this through the Senate, and making this day possible.
“I knew Rhett Schiller. He was one of the first young men I had the opportunity to appoint to West Point. And what a lot of folks may not know is one of my closest friends in Janesville that I grew up with, Andrew Poppas, was Rhett’s commanding officer at the time in Iraq. A young guy from Janesville, he went to West Point himself. He is now Brigadier General Poppas. And upon Rhett’s passing, Andy wrote to me about Rhett Schiller. He took a unique interest in another guy from Wisconsin.
“I have since received other letters from men who have served with Rhett Schiller and the stories are all the same: What a brave, selfless, dedicated, leader and soldier.
“Following his graduation - and let me just go through what, in such a brief period of time, this young man accomplished - he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, first as a platoon leader in Company B and later as an Executive Officer for Company A of the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. In 2006, he was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Calvary Regiment, 3rd Combat Team in the 82nd Airborne.
“It was in this capacity that he was deployed to Iraq as part of a reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition team. On his hundredth day in country, while leading a squad of six paratroopers and six Iraqi Army soldiers, his unit came under small arms fire during a canal clearing operation. And the story that follows is a story of leadership, of bravery.
“It’s a story of a man who stepped up to protect his fellow soldiers. It’s the story of a man who came out of our community, volunteered, put on the uniform, and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we enjoy here today, so we can live in peace and security and salute and pledge allegiance to our flag because there are people like this in our community who protect us, who pay the ultimate sacrifice.
“That’s why it is so fitting that we dedicate this Post Office in his honor so that when other young people come to the Post Office, they will be reminded that each generation of Americans have these leaders among us from all of our communities who step up, put on the uniform, and save us and help liberate others. It’s the ultimate sacrifice.
“So when I see the emails from General Pappas and read the letters from those Captain Schiller served with it’s reverence, it’s appreciation, it’s what a unique leader he was. So that’s why it’s such an honor to be here today and to pay tribute to such a great young man, who attributed us with his life.”
Captain Schiller was killed in action on November 16, 2006, while serving in Iraq. The bill to name the Waterford Post Office in honor of Captain Schiller was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 14, 2013.