2011 Superheroes for Washington families: Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler teaches his two young daughters to find ways to “add value to people’s lives.”
A living example of what he calls his “family motto,” Schindler is adding value, learning and compassion to thousands of lives every day as founder of Operation Military Family (OMF), an organization based in Edmonds that develops strategies to strengthen military marriages and families.
Schindler, a motivational speaker and author of Operation Military Family: How to Strengthen Your Military Marriage and Save Your Family, also runs a website, operationmilitaryfamily.com, and relationship seminars, events, and programs for military families.
A Navy veteran, Schindler founded OMF in 2006 after his friend was deployed to Afghanistan. “I wanted to show how the military rips marriages apart,” he says. “Then I realized I’d get the military’s participation if I focused on helping keep families together. I soon became the guy who knew everything about military marriages."
In Schindler’s book, he reports that when a spouse goes off to war, 20 percent of marriages fall apart within two years. Schindler would like to see that pattern end.
With that goal in mind, OMF is expanding its mission to help solve other problems military families deal with, such as delays in veteran benefits, and housing and health issues. Schindler says, “If we help with those things, we help strengthen relationships.” — Linda Morgan
Get to know Michael Schindler...
Personal heroes: Ronald Reagan. Here’s a man who started on one set of beliefs, then grew his viewpoint. Someone who is open-minded like that is impressive. Also, my wife. We’ve been through a lot. She holds down the fort and puts up with me.
Pet peeve: I live in a houseful of girls. It’s full of toilet paper that never gets replaced.
Best recent read: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
Best way to get kids involved in giving back: Find something in the community that is going to add value to someone else’s life. And be honorable and kind.
Up Next: Shandra Benito, Reach Out >>
Flip ahead to meet the rest of our 2011 Superheroes:
Estela Ortega and Roberto Maestas, El Centro De La Raza
Karen Kodama, Seattle Public Schools
Dr. Beth Harvey, pediatrician
Ron Sher, creator of local retail centers
Rebecca Mallos, Attachment and Trauma Specialists
Mike Heinisch, Kent Youth and Family Services
Karen Bryant, The Seattle Storm