Sgt. Matthew Stiltz’ Body Returns Home, His Wife: “I’m Blessed” - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sgt. Matthew Stiltz’ Body Returns Home, His Wife: “I’m Blessed”

SPOKANE, Wash – The body of a fallen hero who grew up right here in Spokane has returned home.  It's been exactly a week since Sgt. Matthew Stiltz, 26, was killed in Afghanistan, on his third tour of duty.

This morning, his wife, parents, brother and sister watched as his body returned home for the last time, in a Dignified Transfer ceremony held by the Honor Guards of the Air Force and Army National Guard at the Spokane Airport.

But this afternoon, at their Spokane home, the Stiltz' mood was lighter.  They laughed, pouring over old photos and recalling good memories.

"He got down on one knee and opened the box, and it was empty," said his wife, Brooke Stiltz, 22.  "I was like, ‘Where's my ring?' and he pulled it out of his pocket," she told KHQ, laughing.

Sgt. Stiltz was based in Fort Riley, Kansas, and he met his wife there.  They married in 2009 just before his second deployment to Iraq.  Then this summer, she saw him off for his third, this time to Afghanistan.

"I knew it was different," she said.  "I knew how much more dangerous Afghanistan is."

This time, she says, Stiltz had the ‘what if' talk with her, discussing what would happen if he didn't come home.  At the time, she brushed it off, thinking it wouldn't happen to them.

But it has.

She knew it the moment the Army appeared at her door last week.

"As a military wife, you know what they're there for when they're at your door," she said.

At just 22 years old, she's now a widow.  She was the one who called Matthew's parents and siblings to tell them the news.

And just two days after her own husband was killed, the husband of a close friend was also killed – a member of Matthew's same unit.

"It's really hard to know that she's going to have to go through what I've been going through," she said crying.  "It's been really rough.

But through it all, Brooke told KHQ she feels lucky.

"Because a lot of people don't experience a love like we did, ever," she explained, "I just feel really blessed to have experienced a love as strong and true as ours was."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Brazen boat thief caught on camera

    Brazen boat thief caught on camera

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 2:44 AM EDT2017-09-20 06:44:40 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police are investigating after a brazen boat theft on the South Hill over the weekend. The boat's owner was getting ready to put it away for the season, but when he went outside to take it to the marina, it was nowhere to be found.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police are investigating after a brazen boat theft on the South Hill over the weekend. The boat's owner was getting ready to put it away for the season, but when he went outside to take it to the marina, it was nowhere to be found.

    >>
  • Man accused of killing Cheney pot shop employee confesses in interview

    Man accused of killing Cheney pot shop employee confesses in interview

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:20 AM EDT2017-09-19 14:20:42 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man who admitted to kidnapping and then killing a stranger outside a Cheney marijuana shop gave a full confession to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner as he sat behind bars. Donavon Culps said he shot victim Cameron Smith "three or four times" after he felt Smith was "disrespectful" to him.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man who admitted to kidnapping and then killing a stranger outside a Cheney marijuana shop gave a full confession to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner as he sat behind bars. Donavon Culps said he shot victim Cameron Smith "three or four times" after he felt Smith was "disrespectful" to him.

    >>
  • Suspect arrested after shooting at deputies during traffic stop near Day Mount Spokane Rd.

    Suspect arrested after shooting at deputies during traffic stop near Day Mount Spokane Rd.

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 11:48 AM EDT2017-09-20 15:48:57 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man is facing attempted 2nd degree murder charges for shooting at deputies during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning. The incident all happened around 1:30am  near Freya and Day Mount Spokane Road. Deputies say after the man fired shots he took off and there was a short pursuit. The man then stopped his car and took off running.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man is facing attempted 2nd degree murder charges for shooting at deputies during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning. The incident all happened around 1:30am  near Freya and Day Mount Spokane Road. Deputies say after the man fired shots he took off and there was a short pursuit. The man then stopped his car and took off running.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/