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Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2015

County offers fitting tribute

Sunday, February 28, 2010

(Photo)
Cpl. Gregory Stultz
Sometimes, it takes a violent shock to jolt one back on the track of life.

In my case, this past week was that violent shock.

Although I didn't know Marine Cpl. Gregory Scott Stultz, I wish I had.

He seemed like a wonderful man.

The type of man I would want my children (if I had any) to look up too.

Clay County hasn't witnessed the death of a servicemember in almost 40 years.

Yet, the residents of our beloved county stood up in unison this past week, praising a man they probably didn't know.

For a few days, any of our problems and differences seemed minute. They didn't matter.

Hopefully, as a whole, we will remember this and use it as a lesson.

This community brushed aside problems and differences because something else mattered more.

Clay County lost yet another young soul.

It's difficult when any young person dies. Under any circumstances.

But with Cpl. Stultz, there is greater significance.

He died for our freedom.

We have those freedoms because of brave souls like Cpl. Stultz. Brave souls who deem it necessary to stand up and fight for freedom, even if it means risking their life.

Again for a few days, though gray skies loomed, problems became insignificant.

Even though many of us didn't know Cpl. Stultz, we shed a few tears. We thought of our families.

We contemplated our lives.

Again, at least for me, I hope this can be a lesson learned.

One of my duties at the paper is to continually monitor our website for what may be deemed "inappropriate comments."

If I see an "inappropriate" comment, I take it off the website.

In the past few days, we haven't seen anything of the sort.

Sometimes, some of those comments can be, frankly, negative.

But that wasn't the case here.

Generally, the comments left by patrons were very touching.

Comments were in tribute of a young man who had practically just started life.

And they were inspiring.

It was a fitting tribute for this man.

He deserved that. He earned that.

Sometimes, that shock that hits you, jolting you back on track, is a death.

I've felt it before.

My grandmother died a few years ago. Everybody in the family saw it coming.

She had cancer and it was slowly taking her life.

Still, when it happened, it was hard to take and I'm still not sure it's really hit me completely.

After her death, I saw life differently.

All of my problems, any differences I had with anybody or anything, seemed to just fade away.

None of them mattered anymore.

I accepted life is too short. My problems and differences left for a short time, because I forgot the lesson.

Those feelings crept back in as they do with many people.

For example, if something doesn't add up, or work right, it has a tendency to drive me crazy.

Rather than just accept it isn't working for the moment, I would dwell on it. That one particular thing would drive me crazy.

But this young man's death has brought that feeling back to the forefront.

I hope I don't become consumed with problems and differences like this.

I hope I have learned the lesson.

When I drove to Summitt Lawn Cemetery Friday, it was cold.

It wasn't quite as windy as it had been earlier in the week, but it was cold.

And it didn't seem to matter.

When family and friends gathered around and the 21-gun salute blasted through the air, lack of warmth wasn't a concern.

After everything was said and done, Cpl. Stultz' family walked out from underneath a tent as friends began creeping toward them, offering condolences, hugs, hands.

Again, many shed tears.

It was a fitting tribute for this man.

May he rest in peace.

I'm quite proud of men like Cpl. Stultz and knowing that men like him are protecting our freedoms.

And our lives..