The family of 25-year-old paratrooper Dave Schultz is mourning the tragic death of their beloved son. Schultz, a Blue Island native and member of the 82nd Airborne Division, was killed Thursday when enemy fire struck the building he was in.
His mother said, "He is a hero and my hero? he believed in what he was doing."
Schultz graduated from Eisenhower High School and Northern Illinois University.
"I know he recently married with a child. He just enlisted and felt the calling, and I know it's very difficult for the parents and his brother. I hope they feel proud about him. I know I'm a better man for coaching David," said Greg Walder, Schultz' former high school coach.
The Eisenhower graduate was active in football and wrestling. His former football coach says Schultz was a great kid and shined in everything he set out to do. His parents are proud of his patriotism and love for his country.
"He never missed a practice, gave 100 percent all the time," said Walder.
Schultz's mother says his wife Sabrina was very proud of what her husband was doing for this country. Schultz was able to hold his 7- month-old son Logan in his arms when he was on leave in December.
Schultz believed in giving back. He started a drive at his high school having a teacher collect school materials and soccer balls for Iraqi children. Just last week, he contacted his former Spanish teacher to tell her he had distributed the last group of supplies to the children.
"He stuck out in every way. No teacher would ever say a bad thing about him, or a coach. He was a great kid," said Walder.
Schultz's mother said that her son recently told her, "I need to do this ...don't worry about me, I can take care of myself."
When he was here on leave he said things were getting better and there was no need for them to be concerned. The last letter they received from him included the pledge of allegiance.