Spc. Ronnie A. Schmidt died in Iraq on Aug. 3, just two days before his 19th birthday. He was laid to rest with honor and reverence on Aug. 13.

Our heartfelt thanks are extended to the Harvey County Sheriff’s Department, the Newton Police Department, and the Kansas Highway Patrol for escorting Ronnie on his final way home. Thanks to Newton Fire/EMS for their presence and respect. Thanks to all the law enforcement agencies in other towns and counties for the traffic control.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion have provided so much help and assistance. We thank you for all your help, advice and support. You made difficult days a bit easier.

To the Patriot Guard: You folks are awesome. Many of you were there when we received Ronnie’s remains at the airport. From that point on, you escorted Ronnie each step of the way. More than 300 Patriot Guard members were at the church, and many went to the burial in Eureka. All of you gave so much honor and respect to Ronnie and his family and friends. You will never know what your presence meant to all of us. You filled our hearts with love and pride. Thank you.

It was a 75-mile drive to Eureka and all along the way people displayed flags and stood alongside the road with hands placed on their hearts. Most everyone stopped their vehicles and stood beside them with hats off, hands on their hearts. Some had made signs that honored Ronnie; others, young and old, waved flags. Veterans stood at attention. In Eureka, the main street was lined with people all paying respect. It really restored your faith in mankind and in the pride we feel for the USA.

Ronnie was like a brother to Daniel Dennett and to Daniel’s two brothers, Devinn and Dakota. Daniel and Ronnie were serving in the same unit, the 161st, in Iraq, and Daniel was with Ronnie when he passed away. We are grateful the military let Daniel come home for the funeral.

Ronnie lived with us for quite a while and became a member of our family and extended family. We were blessed to have him in our lives. We will miss him so much. Ronnie made the ultimate sacrifice, and he will always have a place in our hearts. We loved him.

Please accept our sincerest thanks, and may God bless you all.

— Larry and Sherry Nuehring,

Daniel Dennett,

Darren and Stacey, Devinn and Dakota Dennett,

Newton