Community, commitment, passion and service.
News 3’s chief meteorologist Bob Jeswald kicks off his podcast, the Bob Jeswald Show, bringing together community movers and shakers to talk about what motivates them to serve others.
For the first episode on WRBL.com, Bob talked with retired Army Ranger Michael Schlitz SFC, who spends his days volunteering and helping other veterans.
For Schlitz, his journey of service, injury, recovery, and back to service started with his U.S. Army enlistment in 1996. In 2007, Schlitz served in Iraq.
On Feb. 27, 2007, Schlitz’s platoon entered the “Triangle of Death” in Iraq, and an IED exploded, leading to death, destruction, and injury, and costing Schlitz both of his hands, giving massive burn across 85% of his body, and lost his eyesight in his left eye due to a scarred cornea.
After waking from a coma due to the severe injuries he sustained, Schlitz asked his caretakers if he can go back to Fort Drum, N.Y. to see his comrades who were with him during the IED explosion.
Schlitz learned he was the only survivor among the group of brothers in arms.
Despite all of the injuries and loss, Schlitz’s motivation comes from the support he received in recovery, and a change in perspective due to his experiences.
“Before, it’s all about you. But now, it’s about others, passion for others,” Schlitz said.
In 2017, Schlitz became the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Military & Veteran Resource Manager. Now, Schlitz joins Bob to talk about how he stays motivated, healthy and active through volunteer work and travel across the country.
You can watch the full, unedited podcast at the top of the story to hear more about Schlitz’s incredible journey.