limaohio.com

Widow prepares to bury soldier husband

January 22, 2008

MILILANI, Hawaii — As Amber Van Weort Schoolcraft makes painful preparations to travel to Ohio in the next few days to bury her husband, she reflected Tuesday afternoon on his life and their marriage and courtship, which started near their Hawaii home in October 2005.Schoolcraft, 21, is the widow of Jon Michael “Mike” Schoolcraft III, 26, who died this past weekend after his vehicle hit a roadside bomb, causing it to explode, near Taji, Iraq.She said her husband’s colleagues and fellow soldiers observed his death today with a special military service in Iraq.At 1 p.m. Wednesday, she said, there will be a military service in Hawaii, which she plans to attend.After that, she said, her husband’s body will return to Ohio for a service with his family. She will travel to Ohio around the same time.Funeral arrangements for those services are pending through Bayliff & Son Funeral Home. Schoolcraft said her late husband will be buried at Buckland Cemetery.“I hadn’t realized how many lives he touched until all those soldiers he worked over there with wrote me,” she said. “I am really proud of him. He’s a hero. He saved the rest of the guys over there. … But it still hurts and I wish it wasn’t me. I wish he was home with me.”Schoolcraft said her husband was promoted to sergeant after his death.Because she and her husband made so many plans before his death, she said she isn’t exactly sure what she will do now that he is dead. She will, however, move to her home in upstate New York, in Plattsburgh.