Matthew E. Schram

Maj. Mathew E. Schram, the fifth of six children of Earl and Sarah Schram, always wanted to be a soldier, said his older sister, Susan Kuske. He joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater before joining the Army in 1989. “He made it his career and loved it”, Kuske said. “He rose in the ranks and worked hard to get there”. Schram, 36, of Brookfield, Wis., was killed May 26 near the town of Hadithah, about 120 miles north of Baghdad, when gunmen ambushed a military convoy on a resupply mission. Schram was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, Colo. “He felt he was doing the right thing”, said Susan Kuske. “We all felt the same way”.

Army Major Schram was assigned to the HHT Support Squadron 3rd ACR, Fort Carson, Colorado. Mathew, a major in the Army’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, was killed about 110 miles northwest of Baghdad, near Haditha, when his convoy came under attack from gunmen who opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. One part usually left out of Mat’s story is that a car was following his convoy with a Newsweek reporter in it. Once the action began, the reporter and his driver turned and ran. If Mat had not charged into the ambushers, the reporter never would have made it out of there alive. Normally, Schram would not accompany the convoys as his responsibilities kept him at the main resupply point. However, due to the problems with attacks on supply convoys (i.e. Jessica Lynch’s 507th Maintenance Company ambush), he decided to lead this one. Major Schram ordered his driver to accelerate from their position in the convoy into the insurgents’ positions. Major Schram sent a message to Headquarters for help and began returning fire out of the Humvee. Even though Mat wore body armor, two 7.62 rounds had struck where there is no body armor coverage, killing him instantly. Mathew always wanted to be a soldier. He graduated from Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in West Allis in 1981 and Brookfield Central High School in 1985, where he played football. He joined ROTC in college before enlisting in the Army in 1989. Mat was a dedicated soldier who gave his nephews dog tags for Christmas and his nieces got Army Barbies. What friends will miss most about Mat was his laugh. He had the most raucous, hilarious laugh because he loved a good joke. Schram was appointed the nickname “Schrambo” by his ROTC peers, an obvious reference to the movie fiction hero “Rambo.” Schram was a 6-foot 1-inch, 200-pound Army Physical Fitness Test genius. His brothers and sisters remember Mathew as a quiet man with high expectations for himself and a tender heart for his eight nieces and nephews.

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Age: 36
Incident Location: Haditha, Iraq
Branch: Army
Rank: Maj.
Unit: HHT Support Squadron 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment
Units Base: Fort Carson, Colorado