April 2010 - AUSA members and USO volunteers Jane Hughes and Herb Schmeling provided USO services to over 500 41st BCT soldiers as they returned to JBLM Troop Holding Area following their deployment to Iraq. Herb ran cookie operations in the THA while Jane practically soloed as she served food and beverages to soldiers continuously from 0800 to 1600 for three flights of soldiers including two flights of 41st BCT soldiers as well as approximately 30 rear detachment personnel. Hot dogs, chips, and coffee were provided through the grateful in-kind donations of Fort Lewis Chapter members. Herb was honored to meet COL (R) Scott McCrae, the father of LT Eric McCrae who is the namesake of the Sixth Region AUSA 1LT McCrae Memorial Award recognizing a company grade officer for professional excellence. Also in attendance was BG Yriarte from the State of Oregon and CSM Conley, the Oregon State Guard Command Sergeant Major. COL McCrae and BG Yriarte
December 2009 - The Ft Lewis Chapter raised $18,600 in contributions from individuals and businesses in the Ft Lewis area to support Operation Make a Soldier Smile. This program provided care packages to more than 2800 soldiers’ assigned to the 4th SBCT 2d INF Div deployed to Afghanistan. The funds contributed by the Chapter were used primarily for postage and bilk mailing expenses.
October 2009 - Fort Lewis Chapter VP for Individual Membership Herb Schmeling presented 10 Halloween Gift Bags to Nikki Wasierski, Assistant Manager of the Fisher House on 30 October 2009. The gift bags which were Halloween decorated cloth clutch bags with an approximate value of $15.00 each are filled with candy, treats, and healthy snacks for each resident family of the Fisher House to include those families living off-post in contract hotels/motels. The bags and filling were donated through the generosity of private contributions of Fort Lewis Chapter members and the USO Center at McChord AFB. Nikki and Herb placed the gift bags in the door-well of each resident family’s room.
September 2009 - Fort Lewis Chapter member Herb Schmeling mailed three care packages to Fort Lewis based soldiers assigned to Task Force Gateway/IMO in Kuwait on behalf of the Fort Lewis Chapter. Herb collected the items over the previous months which included snacks, paperbacks, and hygiene products which were received through donations. Herb is not sure how the soldiers got his name and email address but he completed a mission someone had willed to him. He hopes the packages will meet their expectations.
September 2009 - Fort Lewis Chapter VP for Individual Membership Herb Schmeling provided the 17th Fires Brigade with care package items donated through local AUSA members for deployed soldiers. The items included several hundred single cup coffee samples, approximately 60 DVD’s, approximately 400 paperback books, and approximately 150 neck coolers. The unit FRG’s will utilize these items when preparing care packages for shipment to brigade soldiers deployed to Iraq. The 17th Fires Brigade has the largest concentration of military members within the Fort Lewis Chapter. The brigade headquarters and two of its battalions and one of its separate companies are currently deployed and a third battalion deploys soon.
April 2009 - On behalf of the Fort Lewis Chapter, member Herb Schmeling provided a donation of 10 Easter baskets for the families in residence at the Fort Lewis Fisher House and those housed in Fisher Foundation contracted facilities on 9 April 2009. Over the last two weeks Herb solicited for and received in-kind Easter items from Chapter members for the baskets. The total value of the donation is estimated at $30.00. The baskets represent a simple “We Care” to the families undergoing a medical crisis at this time of year.