Recognizing The Distinguished Veterans In Our Community
This Month We Salute: John Schmelig
Military Branch: United States Navy
Military Occupation: Boatswain’s Mate
About the Nominee: After completing basic training at Great Lakes Naval Station in 1987, John reported to destroyer USS Caron (DD-970), homeported in Norfolk, VA. Two weeks later, the Caron departed on a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean as part of the US Navy’s 6th Fleet. John was able to see seven countries as the Caron made port visits to Valencia and Cartagena Spain, Saint Cyr-sur-Mer France, Catania Sicily, Naples and Genoa Italy, Alexandria Egypt, Haifa Israel, Antalya Turkey and Dubrovnik Croatia (then Yugoslavia). In February 1988, in what some call the last battle of the Cold War, the Caron was intentionally bumped by a Soviet frigate in the Black Sea. After returning to Norfolk, the Caron called on Halifax Nova Scotia, Boston and Fort Lauderdale before heading to dry dock New Orleans for an overhaul which would equip it with Tomahawk missiles (later used in 1996 during the Persian Gulf War). John received an honorable discharge after two years of active duty in 1989, and returned to college on the GI Bill.