On June 5, 1944, Albert Eugene Schroeder, Jr. was born to Albert and Jane Schroeder in Davenport, Iowa. His father was an accountant.1 He grew up in Davenport with his sister Laura and brother Kenneth.2 He attended Central High School and graduated in 1962.3
Albert joined the Army right after high school. In 1967, after having been in the Army for five years and on his second one-year tour in Vietnam, he was home on leave. He spoke to a local reporter about his job in Vietnam.4 He was with the 116th Assault Helicopter Company stationed at Cu Chi, about 40 miles northwest of Saigon. In charge of a crew of four, their job was to drop down near disabled helicopters, care for the crew, and either strip the helicopter or prepare it for pickup. They were on-call 24-hours a day. Albert said he had been wounded three times – in the foot, wrist and shoulder.
He re-enlisted in May 1973.5 He served three tours during the Vietnam War and also fought in the Persian Gulf War. He served a total of twenty years in the military and earned the rank of Staff-Sergeant.6 For his service, he earned the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. The Bronze Star Medal is given out for meritorious service or combat actions.7 The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to military personnel that had meritorious achievement or service, or an act of courage or heroism.8 He won two of each of these medals, one for the Vietnam War, and one for the Persian Gulf War. He was discharged in July 1991.
The Vietnam War was from 1954 until 1975. The war started during the Cold War when the Soviet Union and the United States fought over international allies. The Soviet Union backed countries trying to become communist and the United States backed countries trying to have a democratic government. Vietnam became divided into two sides. North Vietnam was aligned with communist countries like the Soviet Union and China. South Vietnam aligned itself with the United States and other allies. The Vietnam War is known for the controversy, mass casualties, and brutality that was caused. Eventually, the U.S. accepted defeat in 1975.9
The Persian Gulf War was from 1990-1991. Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq at the time, invaded Kuwait. The goal of the invasion was to control the large amount of oil Kuwait had and to cancel the debt Iraq owed to Kuwait. U.S. troops were sent over to the Middle East to help Kuwait. After several military operations, Saddam Hussein accepted a cease fire on February 28, 1991.10
After he retired from the Army, Albert worked at Oscar Mayer Company in Davenport, Iowa. He married Linda Lou Young on December 6, 1970, in El Paso, Illinois. They had a daughter named Becky and a son named Michael.11
Albert passed away on February 10, 2009, at the age of 64. He was buried at the Rock Island National Cemetery.12