George Schulte, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, listens with his wife, Carol, as YMCA Wellness Director Mark Losinski, a retired member of the Army National Guard, speaks about Schulte’s service Nov. 11.

George Schulte, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, listens with his wife, Carol, as YMCA Wellness Director Mark Losinski, a retired member of the Army National Guard, speaks about Schulte’s service Nov. 11.

Photo by Deb Jacques


St. Clair Shores veteran honored for service half a century late

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 18, 2019

 Schulte poses for a military service photograph.

Schulte poses for a military service photograph.

Photos by Deb Jacques

ST. CLAIR SHORES — As the nation took a day to honor those who have served or are serving in the military, the Lakeshore Family YMCA took a moment to honor one of its own members who served in the United States Air Force but was never recognized for the honor.

George Schulte, of Grosse Pointe Farms, served in the Air Force from May 26, 1958, through March 31, 1960, but because he declined to reenlist for another five years, he was “separated rather quickly from the Air Force with an honorable discharge,” he explained. Schulte was a lieutenant at the time and had served in California, Bermuda and Iceland, supervising teams of airmen and installing large outdoor antennas.

Schulte, a longtime member of the Lakeshore Family YMCA, 23401 Jefferson Ave., mentioned his service in passing at a senior lunch at the YMCA. He explained that he never received any recognition for his service, but never expected that anything would become of his story.

But Mark Losinski, a 40-year veteran of the Army National Guard who retired in 2013 as the deputy state surgeon and is now the wellness director at the YMCA, said that he wanted to make sure Schulte was recognized for his service before it was too late. He reached out to the Pentagon and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters’ office and was able to secure the National Defense Service Medal for Schulte.

“It’s a sense of feeling closure,” Losinski said. “What I hate to see is the veterans not get recognized. George is here now. He can enjoy this and so can his family.”

In a Nov. 11 ceremony that began with a moment of silence for those who have served, who are serving or who paid the ultimate price in service to their country at the Lakeshore Family YMCA, Schulte was presented with his medal.

The National Defense Service Medal, instituted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is the oldest service medal in use by the armed forces, Losinski said.

“Lt. Schulte, you bring great honor to yourself, your family and your friends, and it gives me great honor to have made this happen for you,” Losinski said during the ceremony.

Schulte said that the honor came as a surprise on Veterans Day, and he appreciated Losinkski’s efforts on his behalf.

“It feels nice,” he said. “I never expected anything like that 59 years later.”

In a statement from his office, Peters said that Schulte is an example of “true bravery.”

“I am grateful for his dedication to our country and pleased we were able to honor his service by helping secure the National Defense Service Medal he earned,” Peters said.

Other veteran members of the YMCA took time to come to the ceremony as well.

“It was important for us to take the time out of our day to show the kids what Veterans Day is supposed to be about,” said Adam Fullerton, of Grosse Pointe Park, who served as a captain in the Marine Corps for 13 years. “It’s easy to start to forget, the further someone moves away from their service.

“Lakeshore Family YMCA, they’ve gone over and beyond their service to their veteran members.”