Daily Record 06/14/04
Hundreds drawn to soldier's viewing
By Michael Daigle, Daily Record
RANDOLPH -- They came in military uniforms, shirts in red, white and blue, in pairs, singly, all somber, understanding the weight of the day.
Most left stone-faced, quietly; many left in tears.
Police estimated that about 100 people an hour visited the Tuttle Funeral Home Monday afternoon to pay their respects to Army Sgt. Ryan Doltz, 26, who died June 5 in Iraq, one of four members of the 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery National Guard unit stationed in Morristown who died that weekend.
He had been serving with the Military Police, C Company 759th M.P. Battalion, U.S. Army, at the time of his death.
A service will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Mine Hill Presbyterian Church, Route 46. A section of the state highway will be blocked off at 9 a.m. for the service and detours will be posted.
New Jersey National Guard First Sgt. Stephen DeVito said Doltz was posthumously awarded a promotion in rank to sergeant. Doltz was also given a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Good Conduct Medal, DeVito said.
The Bronze Star is awarded soldiers who, while serving in combat, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement or by meritorious service not involving aerial flight.
The Mine Hill First Aid Squad, in which Doltz served as an emergency medical technician, was at the funeral home all day. In the evening, a larger contingent of members from area fire and rescue arrived in dress uniform to pay their respects.
The Doltz family greeted each visitor warmly and thanked them for their kind thoughts. Among the visitors were colleagues of Cheryl Doltz, a fifth grader teacher at East Dover Elementary School, her former students, former cadets at Virginia Military Institute, where Doltz graduated in 2002, and current and former military members.
His flag-draped coffin was centered under a VMI logo in red, white and yellow flowers, and flanked by two Army guards. Underneath the coffin were a black Stetson hat, a pair of black cowboy boots and a black belt with a large silver buckle. Last week, Cheryl Doltz said that is what she expected her son to be wearing as he bounded into their home again.
The guard was changed in a solemn ceremony. The replacement guards arrived at the coffin with a sergeant. Facing the duty guards, the replacements and the sergeant offered an achingly slow, white-glove salute, which was answered in kind.
Students at Canfield Elementary School thanked Doltz for his service in signed posters that lined the walls of the room.
Greeting visitors were a series of posters with numerous photographs of Doltz with his family, friends, in a VMI dress uniform, his Dover High School jacket: Photos of Ryan Doltz as a child, a teen, a young man, a soldier. Photos of a life lived with sparkling blue eyes and a big grin on his face, just as his mother recalled him.
Military Institute 06/06/04
TAPS - Specialist Ryan E. Doltz, VMI Class of 2000
The Superintendent regrets to inform the VMI community of the combat death of Specialist Ryan E. Doltz, VMI Class of 2000, on June 5, 2004, in Iraq. Specialist Doltz was mobilized with the New Jersey Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery, which deployed to Iraq in February. The unit was retrained to perform military police duties prior to its deployment. He died Saturday when an improvised explosive device was set off.
Specialist Doltz was a native of Mine Hill, New Jersey. He matriculated with the Class of 2000, but graduated with the Class of 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He was a member of the Band Company. Many friends of VMI remember him as one of the four cadets featured in the national television commercial filmed at VMI for Norelco in 1998.
While attending VMI, Specialist Doltz was a member of the Virginia Army National Guard's Battery A, 1st Battalion, 246th Field Artillery in Martinsville. He earned an Emergency Medical Technician certificate while at VMI, and later qualified for the EMT certification in New Jersey. He was a member of the Mine Hill, N.J., Volunteer Rescue Squad until his mobilization.
While at the United States Army Field Artillery Training Center in Fort Sill, OK, Specialist Doltz won the Top Gun Award for military proficiency at section tasks associated with 13B10 training.
Among survivors are his parents, Raymond and Cheryl Doltz, a sister, Anne, and brother, Gregory, all of Mine Hill, N.J. Funeral arrangements are to be announced.
|The Ryan Doltz '00 Scholarship
Ryan Doltz's family has asked that a scholarship be established in
his memory to benefit a cadet in the Band Company. Gifts made to the VMI
Foundation in Ryan's memory will be used to establish the Ryan Doltz '00
Scholarship. To contribute to this scholarship, checks should be made
out the VMI Foundation, with a notation that the gift is in memory of
Ryan Doltz. On-line donations can also be made through the Foundation
Website. Checks should be sent to:
P.O. Box 932
Lexington, Va. 24450
For additional information, contact Warren "Buddy" J. Bryan
'71 at (800) 444-1839 or visit the VMI