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Friday, May 6, 2016

Lasting legacy

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Marine Cpl. Gregory Stultz
* Portion of street to be named in honor of Stultz

A stretch of road in Brazil will honor fallen hometown hero Cpl. Gregory Stultz and serve as a lasting dedication for his mother.

After September's City Council meeting a stretch of West Chestnut Street from North Depot Street to North Sherman Street will be designated "Corporal Gregory Scott Stultz Memorial Way."

Marine Cpl. Stultz was a Brazil native who died in combat February 19, 2010, while serving in Afghanistan.

For his mother, Kimberly Stultz, this dedication will not only be for her son, but for anyone that has been lost fighting for freedom.

The Stultz's live on the stretch of road that will be dedicated, and according to Kimberly Stultz's father, two other families who live there lost loved ones in the Vietnam War. Stultz said she will think of those lost lives along with the memory of her son.

"To me, it's a tribute; it may say Greg on the sign but when I think of it I'm going to think of everyone in that little neighborhood," Stultz said. "There was a lot of life given out of that little neighborhood there, and there's something saying that people are thinking about that. I think that's wonderful."

The idea for the dedication started to take form when Mayor Ann Bradshaw, who was visiting the mayor in Terre Haute, saw how 13th street was designated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Way.

"... I thought, I wonder how they did that? Because they didn't actually change 13th street, and (the Terre Haute mayor) explained it to me. I got with our city attorney, and she did this resolution, so the council has to approve this," Mayor Bradshaw said. "It will not be approved until the September meeting."

Mayor Bradshaw also said she hasn't heard anything negative from any council members regarding the dedication, so everything will go as planned.

Mayor Bradshaw said that when designing the sign, they threw some ideas out to a company in Spencer, who put some samples together and sent them back and forth in e-mails until the sign was exactly the way they wanted it. Bradshaw said they left Stultz out of the design process, for the most part, because they wanted to surprise her.

Mayor Bradshaw also said she thinks this dedication is important for the town and the Stultz family.

"When our young men go overseas, and young women as well, we just have to pray that they come back safe," Bradshaw said. "Greg actually gave his life for us here and I think that we should continue to keep him alive ... to know what he fought for. We need to realize in this community that this young man gave his life for us."

Stultz said she thinks the dedication will be a welcomed gesture for the town of Brazil, which has been very supportive of her and her family.

"(The town) will be thrilled because so many people have been like 'well, have they thought about (dedicating a street to Greg),'" Stultz said.

She said that many people have contacted her saying that naming a street after her son is the right thing to do.

Stultz said that she has been grateful for all the support, and said she noticed similar support for Terre Haute Police Officer, Brent Long, who was killed recently.

"It's just wonderful that so many people can be supportive of anyone that's really out there doing their job, putting their life on the line everyday for us, (even though) you may not know them," Stultz said, "Its just a community thing all the way around, where people are really supportive of people who are out there doing their job for us."

Stultz continued, "I just think it's a great tribute for anyone who has to go through losing someone they love; it really helps to know that people care and are willing to see that their sacrifices are noted and remembered."

Stultz said the help and support from the community really helped her grieving process, and she is very thankful for that.

"The community made my way to where I could have that time to grieve for my son, and they took care of all the other stuff. I don't know what I would have done; it would have been too much, Stultz said. "I don't think I would have been able to grieve like I should have, or give Greg the proper coming home if it wasn't for so many people that helped. They just did the right thing, and not everyone gets that."

Stultz said the way she was treated in this community was amazing, but understands that it's not that way everywhere.

"You think that's the way it would be everywhere, and its not, but it should be," Stultz said, "There should always be someone standing in support of a military family, especially one that has lost a loved one."

Stultz said that other communities should see how this one treated her family and take it upon themselves to do the same in the face of tragedy.

"I think that should be our goal, to always pass on what this community has done so that if another community is ever in need they know ... that this is the right thing to do," Stultz said. "They did what they felt was right in their heart, what they could contribute ... and it gave me time to grieve as a mother, and the community pulled together to grieve, and it was a fantastic thing."

Stultz said she and her family received over 1,500 cards in a three-week period from people showing support.

Stultz said the military is still very much a part of her life.

"We do the toys for tots with the marine corps ... we're actually doing the Run For the Fallen this weekend over at Terre Haute," Stultz said. "There's a network set up, if anyone loses someone in the military, we're notified. We try to attend as many funerals and things as we can, at least send a card, show our support."

Stultz also said military personnel who served with her son also contact her frequently.

"The military hasn't forgotten about us either ... every month (Greg's) captain still calls, still checks on us, (Greg's) friends still (check in), I hear from at least three of them a month, they don't let you go ... they have really stuck by us," Stultz said. "There wouldn't be a thing I couldn't pick up the phone and ask for."

Stultz said that she couldn't picture herself anywhere else than this town, because of how well her family has been treated.

"I couldn't imagine being anywhere besides Brazil, Ind., I couldn't imagine healing anywhere besides here," Stultz said.

"I don't think I would get the healing I needed if I was not here; this is my home, this is where I feel safe, and it's because of all the great people around"

Council members will vote on the measure at their Sept. 14 meeting. The sign will be unveiled during this time and the public is welcome to attend.

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What a nice and well deserved memorial.

-- Posted by RThomas on Sun, Aug 21, 2011, at 11:10 PM

Even though the mayor lost the election she hasnt closed shop. Thanks Mayor!

-- Posted by grays on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 9:18 AM

Part of me thinks this is great but I wonder why this soldier and not the other soldiers who have been lost in combat. How do those families feel? Their sons were not worthy of a street named in their honor? Perhaps it should be named Veterans Way or something similar to honor all veterans.

-- Posted by indianamama on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 9:56 AM

I would have to agree with indianamama on that ,she hasn't been the parent to lose that special LOVED ONE...I am not saying I don't feel for the mother cause I do.But again what about the other people who lost LOVED ONES ?

-- Posted by M.Marsh on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 5:11 PM

indianamama and M.Marsh:

If you've been around Brazil for a long time like I have, you'd know there ARE streets named after almost all the soldiers who lost their lives in Viet Nam. One may have been omitted like on the courthouse memorial. It's just that Mayor Pickett placed those names in cemeteries, which was appropriate at the time, also.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 5:18 PM

Was not aware of the "streets" in the cemetaries being named after fallen soldiers (or if I knew I have forgotten) - thanks for the info. I wll have to look for those.

-- Posted by indianamama on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 2:23 PM

indianamom - drive around Cottage Hill Cemetery. A great portion of the roads are named after men from Clay County that lost their lives in a war.

-- Posted by mhicks on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 4:19 PM

Although the family lives on that street and I fully understand why they would name that street after Cpl Stultz,I would much rather see a more traveled street and more than a couple blocks named in his honor like Jackson Street or Forest Avenue or may be a street in the park.

Just my thoughts.

-- Posted by driverdude on Thu, Aug 25, 2011, at 2:03 PM

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