Gary Sinise Foundation

Michael Schlitz

Michael Schlitz

After 14 years of service, Michael Schlitz medically retired from the U.S. Army in March 2010. Throughout his military career, he served in several positions from Rifleman to Platoon Sergeant. In February 2007, in Southern Baghdad, Michael and his platoon were performing a basic road-clearing mission to identify Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) when two artillery shells attached to a propane tank exploded. Though Michael was thrown from the vehicle and survived, the blast killed his driver, gunner, and medic. Michael not only lost his platoon brothers that day, but he also sustained burns on 85% of his body, lost the vision in his left eye, and lost both of his hands.

In his personal mission to give back to the Veteran and Ranger Communities, Michael regularly travels the country for speaking engagements and veteran events. Since his accident, Michael has returned to Iraq three times to mentor wounded and non-wounded veterans, has supported the establishment of several new non-profit organizations, and had the honor of speaking at the U.S. 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