Cross headed to San Antonio in honor of local fallen Marine LCpl Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt

UPS store owners cover cost to ship Marine-made cross

SAN ANTONIO - An 11-foot cross built in honor of Lance Corporal Benjamin Schmidt will leave San Diego Friday on a truck headed to San Antonio.

Fellow Marines built the cross in honor of Schmidt, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan last year and buried at Fort Sam Houston. LCpl Schmidt is the son of Spurs physician, Dr. David Schmidt.

The Marine Corps would not allow the cross to stand on Camp Pendleton near San Diego, where Schmidt was based, because it is a religious symbol.

Richard Perron, a retired marine in San Diego, heard about the situation and wanted to help. His wife manages UPS stores in San Diego.

“I never met the individual Marine, but my heart goes out to the family and friends, especially the Marines that took the time to erect the cross,” said Perron.

Turns out, Perron was in the same platoon as Schmidt.

"It would seem common to most people, very simplistic. But knowing marines put it together means a lot," Perron said.

UPS store owners in San Diego and San Antonio pitched in to cover the cost to ship the cross as is, which required a box made from scratch by UPS employees.

The cross leaves San Diego Friday by truck and is expected to arrive in San Antonio next Thursday where it will be placed on the Schmidt family ranch in time for a weekend service to honor the one year anniversary of the Schmidt’s death. 

Schmidt marine cross to SA slideshow

For a list of recent stories Myra Arthur has done, click here.


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