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Behind the Screen

Since the Winter of 2019, I have been a collector and historian of the American 1st Cavalry Division, focusing my expertise on the division's service in Korea between 1950-1952. As I continue to refine and grow not just my personal knowledge of the First Team but the Tales of the First Team collection, I am compelled to explore every thread on the tapistry of the division's history. From its inception in 1921 to the current day, rediscovering the lives and stories of the veterans of the division continues to be an important mission to me. With artifacts identified to nearly 100 veterans, from Privates to Generals, I continue to hunt down the stories of each item that enters the collection. The catalyst of my interest in the 1st Cavalry Division was my grandmother, Barbara Duvall. Born in 1941 in Suwon, South Korea, my grandmother lived through the Japanese Occupation of Japan, the Korean War, and the iron grip of the Rhee administration of the 1950s and 1960s. Her brother was executed as a prisoner of war by the North Koreans and she was forced to survive off of weeds, foraged goods, and whatever rations her family could get from passing American soldiers. To this day she rarely talks about Korea, preferring to focus on her new life in America and all she has achieved.

I am a published author on the 1st Cavalry Division in the Korean War as well as a successful videographer. I have worked with local museums, small veteran preservation groups, and other entities to edit or refine interviews conducted with our nation's veterans. I work closely with the 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General, Major General John Richardson IV, and his staff on historical projects impacting the division today. To date, I have assisted greatly in the revision of The Black Book: History of the First Cavalry Division, the renovation of The Patch Room, and the reinvigoration of the First Team History Walking Tour. 

My journey into the Korean War specifically was driven by my grandmother, who serves as an inspiration to me. As I researched the stories of the soldiers featured on this website, I also uncovered bits and pieces of her life, learning just how much she went through during the war. War, as it is commonly said, is never just a tale of epic battles and innovative tactics. Battles are interwoven with mundane days of sitting in a foxhole, as well as the destruction of everything the civilians caught in the middle ever knew. I'm proud of my grandmother, for she survived and flourished after everything she went through.

Currently, I am a sophomore at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA where I am pursuing a double major in Finance with a concentration in Supply Chain Management and History.

 - Parks Schmidt                                                                                     

Founder & Chief Historian of Tales of the First Team                   

   Contact Information:

          - Cell: (757)-837-3886

          - Email:

          - Instagram: @militarycurator

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