We reached out to our channels in the Air Force to find out more about the tragic murder of Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder, 39, at Lackland Air Force Base a little over a week ago. Schroeder was commander of the 342nd Training Squadron at the 37th Training Wing at the base.
We spoke with a combat veteran who deployed to many locations in the Middle East and who knew Schroeder personally.
Here’s what he relayed to us.
The killer, Tech. Sgt. Steven D. Bellino, 41, was apparently an Army Special forces engineer sergeant (18 Charlie).
He served in the Army for 20 years, and had deployed to Iraq. After leaving the Army, he applied to join the FBI, and was with the agency for about 2 years. Bellino left the FBI after going through training when he was denied his acceptance to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team otherwise known as HRT.
It appears that Bellino had an ego about being the best and didn’t want to settle as a ‘regular’ FBI field agent. However, speculation is that he had psych issues and was the reason he was denied a spot on the FBI’s HRT.
At the age of 40, Bellino joined the Air Force, he was only allowed to do so by getting an age waiver since he was over the maximum age to join. He then began “PJ,” or pararescue training.
In the 6th week of a 10 week program Bellino failed a water endurance test. A requirement of the training is that when you fail to meet the set standard you fail the program completely, and it’s considered quitting. The trainee must the ring a bell and say “I quit”.
Belino didn’t like this, in fact he outright refused to do it. He felt it he was above the standard and didn’t need to follow the rules. In reality, the 20 year Army Green Beret just had his bubble burst for a second time, and probably felt like he deserved some special treatment.
Bellino started verbally chastising the commander. Schroeder responded by telling him, ‘Hold on, you’re accountable for your actions. Let’s think about what we did.’
However, the training to become a PJ is not taken lightly. Those men are the tip of spear in saving lives in the most adverse, hostile conditions. No corners can ever be cut in training.
Eventually Bellino gave, and on video said “I quit”. But he made a mockery of the system just to get to that point. Now the process to boot him from the Air Force would formally begin.
Belino knew he was done, so he went AWOL for a month, fleeing to Ohio. Some time had passed before he eventually turned himself in, and he was back in Texas at Lackland AFB.
Our source stated that when Bellino was back on base, he was telling young and impersonable Airmen trainees that their leadership was ruining their lives and brainwashing them. Our source stated that he came back from being AWOL with a clear agenda to cause mutiny and chaos for everyone.
“Bellino tried to shoot the 1st Sgt., he missed. Schroeder stepped forward, told his 1st Sgt. to get out of the room, she starts leaving, begins screaming “ACTIVE SHOOTER! ACTIVE SHOOTER IN THE ROOM! CALL 911, CALL 911!” A struggle ensued.”
Bellino realized he was about to be “Article 15’d.” That is “non-judicial punishment” which allows a commander to discipline troops without a court martial, however, Belino continued to play the Air Force and drag his feet opting for a long drawn out court martial.
None of this should ever even happened, Bellino should have been booted right then and there. The Security Police should have been called to detain him, and Bellino should have been served his discharge papers on the spot and escorted off base; done deal.
Unfortunately, with the Air Force’s ultra-weak, never offensive policies, Bellino was ultimately given a trial date for being AWOL where he could continue his pompous circus. After going through that entire process, he then fired his lawyer at the very last moment. He insisted that his lawyer was horrible and demanded that he be given a new lawyer and court date.
Bellino’s case was that of a Air Force Trainee who failed his training and then went AWOL. There should be no case, logic says get rid of him… he’s wasting taxpayer’s money!
Once again, the Air Force bowed down to Bellino’s demands, and with a crisp Air Force salute said “yes sir!”, and just like that another court date was set and he was given a new trial lawyer.
The charades of Bellino were buying him time to prepare and plan to murder his fellow Airmen, and we feel that the Air Force enabled it by continually allowing Bellino to control the entire situation, who was in charge here?
Our source believes this when he began planning the attack. He said that the “killing was premeditated. He knew what he was doing.”
On the day of the killing, Bellino brought 2 loaded Glocks, “enough ammo to kill everyone in the building,” He went into that building with intent to wipe out everyone.
Bellino was going to meet Lt. Col. Schroeder, apparently to be disciplined for being AWOL. Schroeder told his 1st Sgt. to bring him in (he didn’t know he had guns). Our source told us verbatim: “She called him in and was giving him nonverbal cues. Bellino started verbally chastising the commander. Schroeder responded by telling him, ‘Hold on, you’re accountable for your actions. Let’s think about what we did.’ Schroeder then saw the weapons he was hiding. Schroeder went to stop him.”
Our source continued: “Bellino tried to shoot the 1st Sgt., he missed. Schroeder stepped forward, told his 1st Sgt. to get out of the room, she starts leaving, begins screaming “ACTIVE SHOOTER! ACTIVE SHOOTER IN THE ROOM! CALL 911, CALL 911!” A struggle ensued.”
“They fought, Schroeder trying to grab the pistol Bellino had in his hand. Bellino murdered the commander. And most likely killed himself. We don’t truly know yet because the investigation isn’t clear. I’m assuming that (a) The commander shot him, or (b) Bellino shot himself.”
Schroeder was shot 4 times, 3 times in one arm, and once in the head. It was close-quarters combat, Schroeder fighting to neutralize the threat to him, and to the airmen & women who served under him.
“To be honest man, in that building, he had one… double stack Glock. That’s about 12 or 13 rounds. Technically he could have gone in there and killed 12 or 13 people.”
He reiterated that he believes Schroeder saved everyone in the office by fighting Bellino. He had enough ammo to take everyone out.
He spoke of the memorial which he attended:
“Today, at his memorial, he had almost 1800 people there. So, we had guys coming from Hurlburt Field, Pope, Panama City, our operational guys came in from New Mexico, Florida, all to pay tribute to him and his family. It’s been awesome, absolutely awesome.”
Our source continued:
“He even received an Airman’s Medal. He got an Airman’s Medal. Posthumously. Awesome, awesome. Received for his family, for sacrificing for himself, for everything he did on his own, cuz, the guy shot at the 1st Sgt.”
“There were people saying, like, he couldn’t talk his way out of it (being shot), or get him to calm down or anything like that. It had to be premeditated, planned, to go in there like, and murder.”
Schroeder was known for his ability to diffuse tense situations.
I spoke with an Air Force veteran who worked with Congress on Veteran Policies about the situation. He believes Obama’s weak military policies made it possible for Bellino to be in the position he was in. Bellino left the military joined the FBI and then quit because of possible psych problems, was allowed back into the system, and then it was nearly impossible to get him out.
Upon failing training, and declining a second chance, he developed an anti-military agenda. According to the Iraq War vet, and our source, the Air Force had been trying to get rid of Bellino for months because they knew he was a “bad apple.” Most people believe it was the new ultra liberal never offensive military policies that hamstrung the Air Force’s attempts to “boot” a person they knew was a problem. An Air Force commander is dead today because of it.
Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder was 39 years old and leaves behind a wife and two young boys.
He deployed on combat tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and several other countries.
Scenes from his memorial.
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Thank Our Military Servicemen And Women But Praise Our Heroes
With the continuing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places across the globe, well-meaning citizens are increasingly calling all of our military servicemen and women as well as veterans: heroes.
One could draw an argument that this began with President Bush and the beginning of these current conflicts after the voracious attack by Muslim extremists on 9/11. As a veteran, President Bush visited the troops in the field during unannounced trips and continued his actions by visiting wounded military men and women in the hospital – again without the press.
Without a doubt, this overt display of patriotism by the American public is something that we see more frequently now that President Trump is in office. Indeed, the former candidate and now president, has made it a mission of his to keep his and America’s attention on our military.
Most Americans appreciate Trump’s actions. However, it is now obvious that too many people, pundits, and even military organizations are calling all active duty military as well as veterans “heroes”. Many of us veterans think the word reduces the significance of those whose actions have proven themselves to actually be heroes.
Perhaps this comes from one of the definitions of a hero. Dictionary.com defines hero as
A person who, in the opinion of others, asspecial achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.
However, take a look at a second definition of a hero from Dictionary.com:
A person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character.
Please don’t get misunderstand: our soldiers really appreciate your kind gestures and appreciation. Indeed, please feel free to thank them for their service, dedication to their mission, and let them know that you appreciate the sacrifice they are making to their personal and their families lives by choosing to serve our country. However, be aware that the definition of a hero should be anyone who has performed a courageous act of valor for someone else without regard for his or her own safety or life.
For instance, consider those firefighters who entered the smoking buildings of the twin towers in New York City right after the attacks by Muslim jihadists. How about the passengers on Flight 93 who intentionally fought off their attackers resulting in its crashing in a Pennsylvania field, all of whom perished because of their actions?
Then, of course, there are those courageous servicemen and women about whom you’ve read of their receiving the Silver Star or Medal of Honor medals. These are the highest medals available to be given by our military. All of these people deserve to be called heroes!
President Trump recently called veterans ”This Country’s Greatest National Treasure”. This is a perfect description that many of us veterans easily accept.
Just remember: when our military men and women go about the job to which they committed themselves, they are not heroes and they will gladly accept your thanks for their service. However, many of us do ask that you lavish your praise upon our true heroes.
They’re the ones that really deserve it!
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Parasites May Be Killing Vietnam Veterans
Results from a recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has shown that a parasite acquired in Vietnam may be killing veterans of
Vietnam. Indeed, in excess of 20% of 50 blood samples were either positive or “bordering positive” for liver fluke antibodies.
This infection came from eating raw or undercooked fish and results in a rare bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. The problem is the worms
“can live for decades without making their hosts sick. Over time, swelling and inflammation of the bile duct can lead to cancer. Jaundice, itchy skin, weight loss and other symptoms appear only when the disease is in its final stages,
which is death.”
One veteran, 65-year old Mike Baughman, fought with the VA in order to have them grant his claim. In fact, the VA denied it three times. However, his doctor wrote a letter to the VA letting them know that his cancer was “more likely than not” caused by the liver flukes. Fortunately, he now receives $3,100 per month and knows his wife will continue to receive benefits after his death.
Unfortunately, the VA is still up to their old tricks: refusing to grant veterans their just due for a variety of claims. In this case:
Claims hit a high of 60 last year, with nearly 80 percent denied. Decisions appear to be haphazard. Some are approved automatically. Others, presented with the same evidence, are denied.
For instance, some rejections were based on the fact that parasites were not found in stool samples, but those tests were conducted years after the worms would have died. Other claims were dismissed because the veteran did not report his illness within a year of leaving Vietnam, yet symptoms typically don’t appear until decades later.
VA officials say while they’re sympathetic, it’s up to the men to prove that liver flukes from Vietnam are killing them. They say because the cancer remains rare, it would be unrealistic and onerous to carry out regular screenings.
“This is still a legal process that both the VA and the veteran have to go through, and we will look at each case and all the evidence that is presented to us and make a determination at that point. Certainly any veteran has an opportunity to appeal.”
The lesson here is never give up. If you have to, do what Baughman did: get a doctor’s note explaining that your cancer is due to the worms you acquired in Vietnam!
Go for it and good luck!
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WOW: Homeless Veteran Gives Stranded Woman His Last $20, What She Does Next For Him Will Bring You Tears Of Joy
The holidays tend to make us somewhat introspective about how great most of our lives are. It also makes most of us want to reach out to help those that aren’t as fortunate as we are. If you’re one of the people being helped by a good-hearted friend or neighbor this Thanksgiving, you’re probably especially thankful for the holiday spirit.
Usually those of firmly planted in the middle class take this opportunity to help at a homeless mission or hand out money to people we see on the street. However, one New Jersey native found herself the recipient of kindness from a homeless man who came to her aid just a few days ago. According to Daily Mail, Kate McClure found herself broken down on a dark and lonely road when her angel of mercy came out of the darkness to save her with his last few dollars.
McClure wasn’t sure what she would do until the hhomelessJohnny Bobbitt Jr. selflessly gave her $20 to get home. She was so touched by his kindness that she started a campaign to raise money for her newfound friend who was down on his luck.
“Kate McClure, 27, started the GoFundMe campaign 12 days ago after she ran into trouble on Interstate 95 and Johnny Bobbitt Jr., came to her rescue with his last $20.
Speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer, McClure said that she didn’t know what to do when she pulled over on the deserted highway just before midnight. ‘My heart was beating out of my chest.’
She phoned her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, 38, and asked him to come and get her. It was then that Bobbitt Jr. emerged from the darkness and approached her car.
Because of his kind and caring nature, the couple decided that they had to do something for him, to try and make a perminate change in his life. He truly seemed to be interested in working his way back up to functioning as a productive member of society, he just seemed to have fallen on hard times. Especially after finding out that he was a homeless veteran, they knew that they had to do something for him.
“‘He is very interested in finding a job, and I believe that with a place to be able to clean up every night and get a good night’s rest, his life can get back to being normal.
‘Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully, with your help, I can be the one to give it to him.
‘He just needs a push in the right direction. I can’t imagine how hard it is. He’s from the Carolinas. He’s a thousand miles from home with nothing, nobody. Things probably snowballed to where he’s living under a bridge.’
Bobbitt told the couple that he wants to live in Robbinsville, New Jersey and work at the Amazon warehouse.
‘He definitely has the drive,’ D’Amico said.
‘He doesn’t want to be on the streets anymore. He wants to be a functioning member of society and not be sitting on a guardrail in Philadelphia.
‘He knows where he’s at and he knows what he has to do to dig himself out,’ D’Amico said.
‘It’s almost impossible to dig himself out if he has nobody and nothing. If we can raise enough money to set him up for a few months, where he doesn’t have to worry about where he’s going to sleep and what he’s going to eat, then he can get a job and go about his life.’
The cash will go toward renting an apartment for Bobbitt and paying for necessities like food, clothing, cellphone, and transportation.
He will also receive a small amount of cash for walking-around money.
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