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>>

  • Idaho teen recovering after being hit by a car

    Idaho teen recovering after being hit by a car

    Monday, November 20 2017 4:42 PM EST2017-11-20 21:42:07 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A 13-year-old boy is recovering after he was hit by a car on Seltice Way near State Line. The victim said moments after he was hit, the driver fled the scene. The boy's dad told KHQ's Hayley Guenthner that Saturday night around 9:00, his son went to grab a snack from the gas station about a block from their home. He said the car veered off the road and into the parking lot where his son was. When a woman came to 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A 13-year-old boy is recovering after he was hit by a car on Seltice Way near State Line. The victim said moments after he was hit, the driver fled the scene. The boy's dad told KHQ's Hayley Guenthner that Saturday night around 9:00, his son went to grab a snack from the gas station about a block from their home. He said the car veered off the road and into the parking lot where his son was. When a woman came to 

    >>
  • Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Wednesday, December 21 2016 2:36 PM EST2016-12-21 19:36:25 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>
  • FBI investigating after Border Patrol agent dies on duty

    FBI investigating after Border Patrol agent dies on duty

    Monday, November 20 2017 1:29 PM EST2017-11-20 18:29:41 GMT

    VAN HORN, Texas (AP) - The FBI is investigating after one U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died and another was seriously injured while on duty in South Texas.  Border Patrol spokesman Douglas Mosier says Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital Sunday after they were hurt while responding to activity in the Big Bend area. The 36-year-old Martinez died at the hospital.

    >>

    VAN HORN, Texas (AP) - The FBI is investigating after one U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died and another was seriously injured while on duty in South Texas.  Border Patrol spokesman Douglas Mosier says Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital Sunday after they were hurt while responding to activity in the Big Bend area. The 36-year-old Martinez died at the hospital.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/