CLEARWATER — Four years ago Nathaniel A. Schultz gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
The people who knew and loved him has not forgotten his act of valor and continue to celebrate his life to this day.
A memorial ceremony honoring Schultz took place May 15 on the campus of his alma mater, Countryside High, where a plaque was secured at the school’s front entrance.
Schultz, a Safety Harbor native and 2009 graduate of Countryside High School, was a lance corporal in the Marine Corps deployed in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The blast from an improvised explosive device killed him in 2010.
Guests attending the memorial ceremony sat in rows of seats placed in the school’s breezeway leading up to the front entrance.
Delivering the afternoon’s keynote address was U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R–Palm Harbor, who is the vice chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
The Dunedin High School Junior Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps served as the event’s color guard.
Also speaking during the memorial was Chris Settle, a social studies teacher at Countryside High and the Student Government Association Faculty Advisor.
“For a glimpse into the character of Nate, all you had to do was read his answers to a Marine questionnaire that our congressman just alluded to,” Settle said. “When he was asked why did you enlist, his response: To fight for righteous individual freedom for myself and all children of God no matter where they were raised.
“I truly believe that that, in itself, speaks volumes to the heart and life-mission of Nate Schultz.”
According to an email from Settle, two other Countryside High graduates killed while serving in Iraq were memorialized at the school in 2008.
The Student Government Association sponsored the placement of a plaque dedicated to all Countryside graduates, faculty and staff who served or currently served in the military in addition to the two permanent memorials for the graduates killed during duty.