Fallen SA Marine Buried At Fort Sam Houston

Lance Cpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Killed In Afghanistan

SAN ANTONIO - Prior to a private memorial service at the Pearl Stables, Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt was remembered as "a life well-lived" by pastor Max Lucado, who officiated at the graveside service at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

The 24-year-old Alamo Heights High School graduate was the son of Dr. David Schmidt, a team physician for the San Antonio Spurs, and Becky Whetstone Schmidt, a former local newspaper columnist.

Lucado told the gathering of mourners Schmidt was "a man of great love" with "a special love for duty."

Trained as Marine sniper, Schmidt was killed in Oct. 6 during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"I loved him. I knew him since he was only six or seven," said Spurs owner Peter Holt.

Dr. Paul Saenz, also a Spurs team physician and Dr. Schmidt's business partner since 1996, said he had known the young Marine 17 of his 24 years.

"Ultimately, he made his family proud the way he took on the responsibility of being a Marine," Saenz said.

Holt said what he was struck by at the Friday afternoon service was Schmidt's youth, "a young man in the prime of his life."

A family spokeswoman said Schmidt military honors included the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with "V" for valor.

Saenz said Schmidt's family has received gracious support from throughout the San Antonio community.

He said, "I know that the family is extremely appreciative of that."


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