Today is “Thank a Veteran Day” in Big Spring and KBest Media would like to thank William “Bill” O. Schneider, Veteran Marine, for his service to our country.
Schneider is a high school graduate of Central High School in San Angelo, Texas. At 19 years old, he enlisted with the Marines and served from 1969 to 1973. Schneider told KBest News that he was inspired to enlist with the Marines by his father, also a Veteran Marine, who had served during World War II.
"...He was a hero to me. I thought he deserved the United States Medal of Honor. He lived his patriotism everyday because of his war wound," said Schneider.
During his time in the Marines, Schneider served in Vietnam as a Line of Sight Radio Man and Military Police.
After discharging as a Sergeant, Schneider went on to graduate from Angelo State University in 1975. He and his wife Lea Ann ran their business Bill Schneider Pest Control until he retired in 2012.
He Lea Ann have been married for 43 years and have two sons, Gray and Jake. Gray currently resides in North Carolina and works on race car pit teams, and Jake is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and lives in Austin.
When asked how he felt about his time spent in service, Schneider stated that he’s still very proud. Even though he, along with other Vietnam Veterans, were not treated well when they returned home, Schneider advised that his family had always supported him.
He told KBest News that when he returned home from Vietnam, he found that the lines of communication opened more between he and his father.
"For the first time in my life, we would talk. It was like I passed into a secret club of Combat Marine," said Schneider. "I never went through what he did, but I understood better what he went through."
According to his wife, the effects of agent orange have taken a toll on her husband’s health and has resulted in prostate cancer, but Schneider has always remained grateful that he was able to serve our country.
When asked what advice he might have for anyone considering joining the military, Schneider stated, "Think about it very hard and understand that you're going to do without a lot of things for a few years. It'll all be paid back to you, and you'll actually enjoy the time."