Recon paddle party for fallen hero


Fox Raiders
Jul 2, 2007
San Diego, CA
Updated: Thursday, 08 Jul 2010, 11:46 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 08 Jul 2010, 11:46 PM EDT

Kate Greene
BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) - Corporal Gregory Stultz of Brazil, Indiana was killed in Afghanistan on February 19, 2010.

His death marked a grim milestone of 1,000 men and women killed in Afghanistan, but on Thursday his fellow Marines remember him in very different way.

Six U.S. Marines traveled to Brazil to remember a fallen hero.

"While they may have lost a son, they gained a whole new family," Marine Sgt. Graig Fraser said. "We're able to come here and express our condolences and show them they're not alone in their loss."

A loss they remembered through a recon paddle party. It's a Marine tradition that dates back to WWII.

Paddles were considered a Marine Raider's lifeline during the battle in Japan.

Once the Raiders were disbanded, the Marine Reconnaissance held on to the tradition symbolizing the strength and courage of each man and woman.

"Not every Marine gets a paddle," Sgt. Fraser said. "It's a huge, huge deal for a Marine to get a paddle."

Made by hand by the Marine's platoon, the green thread around the handle of the paddle represents WWII, the tan thread represents Afghanistan and the red thread represents blood shed.

"You can't do something like this and not remember others," Sgt. Fraser said. "They know it, everyone else in the Marine Corps knows it, and the guys up there know it."

"Every time I think about it it hurts just as bad, but you just think about more positive things to think about," Cpl. Stultz's brother Zach Stultz said.

A paddle presented to the family is just one positive reminder of the hero he was.

The family would like to thank the community for all of the support over the last few months.
Cpl Stultz was an impressive young man. He had accomplished much in his short life of 23 years.

Condolences to the family.....:(

RIP Cpl Stultz.