WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) all gave statements after the U.S. Senate approved H.R. 5504, to designate the U.S. Postal Service facility at 4801 West Van Giesen Street in West Richland, Washington as the “Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman Post Office.”
Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 5504 with the support of the entire Washington delegation to honor the life and service of U.S. Marine Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman of Richland, who was serving in the 2nd Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina when he was tragically killed in a cargo plane crash in Mississippi on July 10, 2017. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.
“After speaking with the Schmieman family, it became clear that Dietrich was truly devoted to his service and his Marine Corps brothers-in-arms,” said Rep. Newhouse. “I am proud to be able to honor him through the designation of the Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman Post Office Building in West Richland, and I am grateful his memory will live on in Central Washington. Sergeant Schmieman’s sacrifice will not be forgotten, and this post office will serve as a local reminder for his family, friends, and community of the honorable sacrifice he gave for his country.”
“The Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman Post Office will serve as a reminder of his legacy of service and sacrifice," said Senator Cantwell. "From Hanford High to the elite forces of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Schmieman was a shining example of leadership, dedication, and the best our country has to offer.”
“Sergeant Schmieman was a decorated Marine who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation," said Senator Murray. "I’m proud to join my colleagues in remembering this brave Washingtonian by naming the West Van Giesen Post Office in his honor.”
I rise today to speak in support of legislation that will commemorate the life and service of a young man from Central Washington who died serving his country, just over a year ago on July 10, 2017.
Marine Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman grew up in Richland, Washington with his parents, Eric and Susan, and his two brothers, Aaron and Hans. He attended Christ the King Catholic School, Hanford High School, and Columbia Basin College, where he met friends who would remain close to him throughout his entire life. In 2010, with a world of opportunity ahead of him, he chose to dedicate his life to service and enlist in the United States Marine Corps.
It was his goal to serve within Special Operations Command. Throughout his service, he received 14 awards and decorations, including several Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medals, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He had completed two overseas deployments serving our nation during Operation Enduring Freedom. He achieved his goal, honorable serving as a Critical Skills Operator in the U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, when he was tragically killed in a KC-130 plane crash in Mississippi on July 10, 2017.
My legislation would designate the U.S. Postal Service facility at 4801 West Van Giesen Street in West Richland, Washington as the “Sergeant Dietrich Schmieman Post Office Building.” Dietrich and his fellow service members gave the ultimate sacrifice, and I hope to honor his memory – as well as the memory of the 15 other men and women killed in the crash – with this dedication to their service.
Dietrich’s strong ties to his family, friends, and hometown continue to be evident. An avid skydiver, Dietrich’s death inspired his parents, childhood friends, and fellow Marines to complete a memorial skydive over Central Washington. He had a tattoo symbolizing his love of the Pacific Northwest and requested that his ashes be spread on Mt. Rainier, where his Marine brothers-in-arms will hike this August in his honor.
We recently observed the one-year anniversary of the devastating plane crash, and I know that the designation of this Post Office will mean a lot to Dietrich’s family and to our community – serving as a local memorial and reminder of the sacrifice he and his fellow service members gave to preserve the freedoms that are the cornerstone of our nation. I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation to name this building, which will be visited often by friends and family, after a courageous young man whose life and service deserve this honor.