Monday, October 01, 2007

Family Tragedy in Michigan

This from today's online Oakland Press:

A Waterford Township family already enduring a son severely injured in Iraq and the loss of their home suffered an unbelievable blow this weekend - the deaths of their two youngest sons in a traffic crash.

Joshua Brian Schrauger, 17, and Timothy Schrauger, 14, were killed Saturday afternoon after their vehicle collided with another vehicle in Riley Township in Clinton County.

"I've never seen a family that has gone through what they have had to go through," said Pastor Tom Hampton of the Community Bible Church in Waterford Township, who has been a pastor for 30 years. "It's like the (Book of) Job story all over again."

Hampton said the church is working together to help the family, setting up a collection fund after an outpouring of offers to help from the community.

He said the two brothers, both students at Lake Orion High School, were great boys and loving sons.

"If you wanted to have a son, it would be these kids," said Hampton. "They were, seriously, the perfect picture of good, solid kids. They loved their mom and dad. They treated everyone with love and respect. They were witty, smart, respectful - everything you could want in sons."
For the family, this blow comes after a summer of struggle.

Elder brother, U.S. Army Spc. David Schrauger, was severely injured in Iraq in mid-June when an improvised explosive device damaged the Humvee he was riding. He suffered extensive injuries to his spine, arms, legs and lungs.

Since then, he has been hospitalized, first in Germany and later in Texas.

Their father, Cliff Schrauger, had been in Texas for about three months and planned to fly back to Michigan on Sunday night.

"He hasn't been able to work because of David's injuries," Hampton said.

Having lived in Lake Orion, the family is now struggling. A pastor for 25 years, Cliff Schrauger last worked as a guard.

They lost their home to foreclosure earlier this summer, Hampton said, and have since stayed in a condo in Waterford Township.

Their mother, Vicki Schrauger, had to limit trips to see her son after taking up a new job, she reported in her blog on their church's Web site.

She regularly detailed her son's conditions, always thankful for support from friends and family and appreciative of government services for her son. They persevered through the wounds, burns and then complications such as infections and pneumonia.

"We all thought, what else could happen?" Hampton said. "These guys have been through so much."

Besides the parents and David, the brothers are survived by elder brother Stephen, a student at Saginaw Valley State University, and sister, Kristina.

Hampton said the eldest brother, David, will be brought to a funeral one day beforehand by a medical helicopter unit with the help of the American Red Cross, returning to San Antonio afterward.

"We appreciate the military," Hampton said. "They have done such a fantastic job taking care of this family."

Funeral services will be provided through the Riverside Chapel, Simpson Modetz Funeral home in Waterford Township, where arrangements are pending.

Hampton said the church raised $4,000 for the family on Sunday, and 100 percent will go to the family.

"There is a such a clamor in the community for some kind of trust or benevolent fund," he said.

Hampton said that Josh was a "great musician and a terrific student" who ran track. Timothy was active in his youth group, becoming heavily involved with the Gingelville Community Church's youth group and kids' ministry.
Cliff Schrauger, the father of this hurting family, is a wonderful caring man. His family needs your prayers.

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