The family of fallen Marine Cpl. Gregory Scott Stultz stopped at North Clay Middle School Thursday and took part in Veterans Day festivities.
"No matter who it is, when every soldier decides to give up their lives, for years they write a blank check made payable to the freedom for the people of the United States of America," Zachary Stultz, Gregory's brother said. "All will give some, but some will give all. Dying for your country is the ultimate sacrifice. This is the most courageous act a soldier endures."
Zachary was the featured speaker for North Clay's annual Veterans Day program. He spoke on the courage of the servicemen and how his perceptions of the holidays honoring servicemen have changed.
"Believe it or not, I was once sitting in the exact same seats you are today," he told the auditorium of middle school students. "It took until my 20th birthday to truly understand what Veterans Day, Independence Day and other American holidays really meant and how important they are to us."
Gregory, a 2006 graduate of Northview High School, was killed in the line of duty while stationed in Afghanistan in February. This was the first Veterans Day for the family since his death and they choose to spend it with students.
"When (servicemen) give their life for the 310.6 million citizens of the United States, a soldier knows they did well," Zachary said. "Sometimes even I don't understand why we must lose our most courageous men and women. But what I do understand is without them putting there lives on the line day in and day out we would not be meeting here today."
There were many tears falling from students and adults as Zachary spoke not only in honor of his brother, but also for all the men and women who are not recognized daily.
"I could not imagine going a year without not only remembering my brother but the almost one million others that have died for us and the almost 50 million soldiers that have fought for our freedom today," he said. "I challenge you for the next four, five or six years you are in school to take in all the information you can and to take time out of your daily schedule to remember what being an American is and the people that made that possible for you."
Zachary received a standing ovation and many people spoke with him after about his brother's sacrifice and the strength of his family.