Cpl Gregory S. Stultz
Died: February 19, 2010
Fallen hero remembered: Cpl. Gregory Scott Stultz killed Friday in Afghanistan
February 22, 2010 11:37 pm
By Arthur Foulkes
Flags are flying at half-staff today across Clay County out of respect for a Brazil Marine killed in the line of duty Friday in Afghanistan.
The death of Marine Cpl. Gregory Scott Stultz, 22, of Brazil, came as a shock to a community that has not witnessed the loss of a native servicemember since the Vietnam War.
Clay County officials requested all flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Stultz, who graduated from Northview High School in 2006.
“He had grown into a fine young man,” said Northview wrestling coach Dan Mikesell, who coached Stultz for several years and had kept in touch with him since Stultz graduated.
“I got to see him kind of grow up and become mature,” he said.
According to an online obituary provided by Brazil's French Funeral Home, Stultz was captain of the Northview wrestling team and was also a member of the football team. After high school, Stultz earned a wrestling scholarship to Rend Lake Junior College, the obituary states.
“He loved his family and his siblings,” said Peter Latrenta, director of the House of Hope, a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation mission in western Clay County. Stultz helped out and got to know people at the mission while a family member was employed there, he said.
“He knew the Christian way and tried to follow it,” Latrenta said.
According to the Brazil Times, Stultz is the first Clay County servicemember killed in action since 1973, when Gary Boyce was killed during the Vietnam War. Late last year, Army Sgt. Dale Griffin of Terre Haute was killed in action in Afghanistan. Like Stultz, Griffin was an accomplished high school wrestler.
“Wrestlers make good members of the military,” Mikesell said. They fight hard to achieve their personal bests, but also compete for their teams, he said. After joining the service, Stultz told his former coach that his wrestling experience and training made it easier for him to endure the training required to become a Marine, Mikesell recalled.
“He was always eager to learn” Mikesell said, adding that Stultz attended all of the extra team practices and even volunteered to help at wrestling meets. “I'm pretty sad,” Mikesell said in a telephone interview Monday. “I can't express it.”
According to the U.S. military, Stultz was killed Friday while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province. He was one of three Hoosier Marines to die in Afghanistan in the past several days.
Stultz and Lance Cpl. Joshua Birchfield, 24, of Westville, died Friday during activities supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. A third Hoosier Marine, Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, of Columbus, was killed in combat Thursday, the U.S. military reported.
Stultz was serving as part of an elite Marine division in Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the online obituary. During his service, he earned several medals, including the Sea Service Deployment medal and the Global War on Terrorism medal, the obituary states.
Brazil's French Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for Stultz. While Stultz's body arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware over the weekend, funeral and transportation arrangements were not yet known as of Monday afternoon.
Motorcade to escort Stultz back to Brazil
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
By JASON MOON , Managing Editor, The Brazil Times
Officials have confirmed the body of Marine Cpl. Gregory Scott Stultz, 22, is expected to be flown into the Terre Haute International Airport, Wednesday.
From there, his body will be escorted back to Brazil.
County and city officials are encouraging people to line United States 40 to honor the former Brazil resident, who died Friday, Feb. 19, while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
The motorcade will travel from State Road 42 to SR 46, then to U.S. 40. At the Clay-Vigo county line, the motorcade will travel east on SR 340 before coming back to U.S. 40.
On Tuesday, officials began placing flags along U.S. 40, in his honor. In addition, members of the American Legion Post 2 and Veterans of Foreign Wars have handed out flags for residents and city officials will be placing black ribbons along U.S. 40, courtesy of Sugar 'n Spice.
American Legion Post 2 Legion Riders and Patriot Guard will meet at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, at the French Funeral Home parking lot, before going to the airport to help escort Cpl. Stultz' body back to Brazil. Anyone wishing to join the motorcade is welcome to join.
Chris Nichols, Community Action Team member for National Printing Converters, 18 S. Murphy Ave., Brazil, told The Brazil Times Tuesday the company plans to hand out posters with Cpl. Stultz' likeness on them during the procession.
"We were trying to figure out what we could do to show our appreciation," Nichols said. "We thought maybe we would print up some posters and distribute them."
Northview High School Principal Tim Rayle told The Brazil Times students will stand along SR 340 as the motorcade passes. Cpl. Stultz graduated from Northview in 2006. According to reports, the motorcade may also stop through the parking lots at both Northview and North Clay Middle School.
French Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.
Clay County officials began preparations in honor of Cpl. Stultz Monday. Clay County Commissioner Charlie Brown and Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw both told The Brazil Times they had requested flags be flown at half-staff for the remainder of the week.
"This is a great loss for this community," Brown said.
"It's just heartbreaking," Bradshaw added.
City Hall officials also confirmed a proclamation would be drawn up for the month of March in honor of Cpl. Stultz.
Cpl. Stultz was one of three Indiana Marines killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan last week.
The United States Department of Defense announced Monday that Lance Cpl. Joshua Birchfield, 24, Westville, also died Feb. 19, in Helmand province. Their bodies arrived Sunday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
The third Indiana Marine, Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, Columbus, was killed during combat in Afghanistan Feb. 18. His body arrived at the base Saturday.
According to his family, Cpl. Stultz had been in Afghanistan since November.
On Monday, Clay County Veterans Affairs Service Officer Mike Holland told The Times Cpl. Stultz was the first service member from the county to die in combat since Gary Boyce was killed in action during the Vietnam War, Jan. 1,1973.