Created: 06/02/2014 5:59 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri
A young Army sergeant was killed during a training exercise. Shaina Schmigel was just 21-years-old. The Medina native won several awards and declarations while she was serving our country.
According to the Army, Schmigel, who was an intelligence analyst, died last Friday during an airborne training exercise at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The Army is still investigating her death.
Schmigel graduated from Medina High School in 2010. Her math teacher says Shay was a cheerleader and ran track in high school. When she heard the news Monday morning, all she could think was Shay is just too young for this.
Krista Duhow, teacher, said, “She was one of the happiest people. When she was in school, she was always smiling. If she wasn't smiling, you knew she would be in a second because she would crack a joke and have everyone laughing along with her.”
Krista Duhow taught math to Schmigel. Duhow remembers a young woman who knew exactly what she wanted, and that was to serve her country.
Schmigel wrote in her senior year in the yearbook, “Future plans: I’m enlisting in the Army while in school and plan on having a career in it after graduation.”
Duhow said, “She knew she was going to serve her country coming into her senior year. She had already enlisted, and was ready to go. She was very excited for everything and knew what she wanted to do.”
Schmigel did that. She joined the Army right after graduation. She was promoted to sergeant this January and had recently committed to serving another four years. Duhow says her dedication and determination are the reasons so many people looked up to this young woman.
Schmigel said, “That is one of the things I keep thinking about, all the things she accomplished in such a short period of time, following her dreams and being that person. She was a special girl.”
Students at Medina High School are already thinking of ways to remember Schmigel. Some plan on sending letters to her family and others are considering planting a memorial tree.