Gary Sinise Foundation

Michael Schlitz

Michael Schlitz

After 14 years of service, Michael Schlitz medically retired from the United States Army in March of 2010. Throughout his military career, he served in several positions from Rifleman to Platoon Sergeant. In addition to his Purple Heart, Schlitz has received the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Good Conduct Award among others, each a reflection of his proud service to our country.

In February of 2007, Schlitz and his platoon were in Southern Baghdad performing a basic road-clearing mission to identify Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's) when two artillery shells attached to a propane tank exploded. Though Schlitz was thrown from the vehicle and survived, the blast killed his driver, gunner and medic. Schlitz not only lost his platoon brothers that day, he also sustained burns on 85% of his body, lost the vision in his left eye and both of his hands.

In his mission to give back to Veteran and Ranger Communities, Schlitz regularly travels the country for speaking engagements and veterans events. Since the accident, he has returned to Iraq three times to mentor wounded and non-wounded veterans, supported the establishment of several new non-profit organizations, and had the honor of speaking at the US Army Ranger Graduation class on Veterans Day 2011.

“There are a lot of organizations working with veterans, but GSF is leading the way. It’s truly inspiring to see the support they give to veterans from all eras as well as their families. I’m extremely honored to be an Ambassador to GSF and help them with their mission.”

— Michael Schlitz