Funeral for Blue Island soldier killed in Iraq

February 11, 2008 2:38:45 PM PST
Family and friends gathered Monday in a south suburban church to remember David Schultz. The Army lieutenant died several weeks ago in Iraq.

People came from all over Blue Island Monday to honor a young man they called a hero and to show support to the family he left behind.

"Great family. Really appreciate his ultimate sacrifice, for giving his life for all of us, really," said Linda Mraz, family friend.

Army First Lt. David Schultz the second was killed in Iraq two weeks ago when enemy mortar struck his office building. He was a platoon leader and was just 25 years old. "All of us are very heartbroken for the family. We just want them to understand how much Dave meant to us and how much his example inspires all of us," said Bob McParland, family friend.

David Schultz had been a popular athlete at Eisenhower High School and he kept in touch with his teachers there. In fact, Monday at his funeral, his Spanish teacher remembered how the young soldier had recently contacted the school trying to collect soccer equipment and educational supplies for youngsters in Iraq.

"We've been sending supplies to him for month and he's been delivering those supplies to the kids in Iraq when he'd go out on patrol. So, I think, through Dave, we were all feeling that we were able to make a small difference in this war effort in a positive way," said Michelle Alfano, former teacher.

They say Schultz was so proud of his young family, his wife Sabrina and a 7-month-old son Logan, who he had just seen in December. His father David Senior is a sergeant with the Blue Island Police Department.

"One of our senior officer's children grew up with David, it is tough. We couldn't be prouder of him and it is a tragic loss for everyone. These are the type of young men you want serving your country," said Chief Doug Hoglund, Blue Island Police.

As Eisenhower High School paid tribute to the fallen former student, the Army saluted him as well. Monday, Lt. David Schultz was honored for his sacrifice. At his funeral, the Northern Illinois graduate was promoted to the rank of captain.