Claudia P. Roberto,
DoMaD Public Affairs:
A volunteer is a person who willingly offers himself or herself for a service or duty without compensation. At Fort Bliss, volunteers support and strengthen the Army mission by offering their time and commitment to the organization of their choice. Because of their willingness and compassion, volunteers are the strength and heart of the organizations they serve. They help improve the quality of life for many military organizations.
Rosemary Schemmel has been a volunteer with the Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment for four years. Her self-nominated name “post mom” is how she is known by the DoMaD staff and the thousands of Guard and Reserve Soldiers she welcomes home and sends off to deployment at Biggs Army Airfield.
Schemmel, a retired nurse and daughter of a retired lieutenant colonel, lived in El Paso from 1955 to 1960 when her father was stationed at Fort Bliss. Born and raised in the Army, she is accustomed to the military lifestyle. Her daughter, Capt. Paula J. Schemmel, who is the youngest child out of six, was stationed at Fort Bliss in 2005 with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. So Schemmel left her hometown of Minster, Ohio, and moved back to El Paso in 2005 to be with her homesick daughter.
As a daughter and mother of a Soldier, she knows the personal sacrifice and heartache that families endure while their loved ones are deployed. After her daughter’s first deployment to Iraq, she was assigned to the rear detachment of the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., and one of her main jobs was to take care of all their redeploying flights. Schemmel became involved by going with her daughter to Biggs Army Airfield and welcoming the rest of the BCT home.
After her daughter left Fort Bliss, Schemmel decided to stay in El Paso. She said she missed doing those missions at Biggs Army Airfield. She got in touch with the Mobilization and Deployment Brigade in 2008, and they were happy to have her on the team supporting all the mobilizing and demobilizing troops at Biggs.
Alongside the DoMaD team, Schemmel is at Biggs many hours of the day, on weekends and holidays, welcoming Guard, Reserve and active-duty Soldiers and Sailors back from their long deployments. She stands with the DoMaD command team in a line as Soldiers disembark the plane proudly wearing her “MOM” nametag on her white vest decorated with her daughter’s Army ribbons. She greets every Soldier and shakes every hand with a smile.
Watching the Soldiers get off the plane, they just kind of drag along, looking down at the ground, but when they see “MOM” amid the line of green-suited Soldiers, they perk up and smile.
“I care, and I want to be here,” said Schemmel. “I’m a mom, and they’re my kids. It’s important to me to be there.”
She is at almost every outgoing and incoming flight for every unit that goes through Biggs.
Aside from supporting the troops at Biggs, Schemmel has been involved with the Red Cross at William Beaumont Army Medical Center for three years. She drives a shuttle helping Soldiers and their family members to and from the parking lot and hospital entrance. She is also a member of the Military Council of Catholic Women at Fort Bliss, a social group that does service projects for different organizations. Last year, they assisted Sierra Providence Hospital’s “Meals on Wheels” program delivering hot meals to patients who are unable to cook for themselves. At the YMCA on Fred Wilson Avenue she helps at the day care by feeding and rocking babies. She also volunteers at the Nazareth Hall Nursing Center in El Paso where she helps with bingo. Because of all her generous volunteer work, Schemmel was named the Fort Bliss Volunteer of the Year for the Mobilization and Deployment Brigade in 2010.
Other than her love for volunteering, Schemmel enjoys reading and arts and crafts. She enjoys watching television and being in the company of her friends.
To learn how to become a volunteer at Fort Bliss, log onto the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation page on the Team Bliss website or visit www.blissmwr.com/volunteer/.
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