Family of Fallen Hero to Announce a Steelers Draft Pick on Saturday

2021 NFL Draft Steelers

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the NFL Draft on April 29, 2021.

On Saturday afternoon the family of fallen solider Jonathan Schmidt will announce one of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ picks during rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft. The Schmidt Family, who hail from West Leechburg, Pa., was chosen through TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), an organization that provides comfort, care and resources to those grieving the death of a military loved one. The Schmidt’s suffered the loss of SSG Jonathan Schmidt when he was killed in action in Batur Village, Afghanistan on September 1, 2012.


Schmidt was a Decorated Army Veteran, Devoted Steelers Fan

According to Steelers.com, Schmidt received numerous awards and decorations during the ten years in was in the military, “including the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, and the Army Service Ribbon.”

Schmidt was a devoted Steelers fan, as is Natalie, who reached out to TAPS and related how Steelers football brought the family together.

“As someone born and raised in the Pittsburgh area my heart had always bled black and gold,” wrote Natalie Schmidt in her email to TAPS. “My in-laws, Jonathan’s parents, are also obsessed with the Steelers and have always had a room dedicated in their home, no matter where they lived as they worked for the federal government and moved often. My husband and I always talked about going to our first Steelers football game together, but I unfortunately never got the chance as he died before we could.

“I’ve always wanted to go to a game or do something with the Steelers in his honor,” continued Schmidt. “His stepmom has a hard time dealing with his loss and she and his mom won’t usually partake in events as it’s been hard for them, but I know something like this would really make their day and hopefully feel the love and appreciation they deserve….”

As such, Natalie, son Aiden, as well as Jonathan’s mother Leeann Schmidt and stepmom Tammy Sheaffer, will be on hand to announce one of Pittsburgh’s Day 3 draft choices.

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Franco Harris one of 32 Players/Legends Who Announced a Day 2 Pick

As for Franco Harris (Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1990), he is one of a group of 32 NFL players/NFL legends who announced a Day 2 pick on Friday night. It’s a group that included former Steelers offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, who recently re-signed with the Arizona Cardinals and announced Arizona’s second-round pick.

Notably, Harris relayed the news of the selection of tight end Pat Freiermuth, who hails from his alma mater.

As for the other teams in the AFC North: Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz (Class of 1998) did the honors for the Cincinnati Bengals, while former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones was on hand to announce a pick for the Ravens and Myles Garrett did the same for the hometown Cleveland Browns.

The 2021 NFL Draft is being held in Cleveland. It concludes on Saturday with Rounds 4-7.

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