UPDATE: Loved ones remember Naples soldier who died in Afghanistan
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla.- A solider from Naples died on Monday after a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The crash killed 5 Americans.
Chuck Schumacher now cherishes the smiles in the photographs. Staff Sgt. Marc Scialdo was a good friend of Chuck's and also his daughter's godfather.
"I think you'd be hard pressed to find anybody that didn't like Marc," said Schumacher.
Chuck says it still does not feel real that his good friend is gone.
"What will you tell your daughter when she grows up," asked Fox 4 reporter Julie Salomone.
"Alot, I will tell her alot," responded Schumacher.
Chuck says Marc served 8 years in the army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was proud to serve his country, but his friends were even prouder of him.
"He was probably the best at everything. He was the best friend, the best husband, best at his job...he was ...in short...the best."
Chuck first met Marc in college at Edison State and the two stuck together ever since.
"He was my daughter's godfather. He was in my wedding and I was in his wedding. He was like an extension of family."
At Marc's old high school, St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples, teachers still remember his smiles nearly 15 years later.
"The smile said it all, just such a joyful and fun kind of guy," said Elizabeth Bennett, Spanish teacher.
Elizabeth Bennett taught Marc Spanish his sophomore year and points to a yearbook picture and a quote next to his name that tells us all Marc was well aware of the sacrifices soldiers make.
The quote reads," A coward dies a thousand deaths, but a solider dies but once."
"Sometimes you're only here a short time, but you make a big impression. Mark was like that," said Bennett.
The flag now flies at half-staff in honor of the 31-year-old soldier and pictures of Marc serve as a reminder that the price of freedom is paid for by those in uniform.
Marc's family including his brother and father are now at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware waiting to bring their loved one back to Southwest Florida.
Marc leaves behind several siblings and his wife. He recently married a little over a year ago.
Marc graduated from St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples in 1999. Bishop Frank Dewane with the Catholic Diocese said the following in a statement," The Gospel of St. John states," No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friend." Marc knew the potential cost of his military services and yet he was not dissuaded. His heroic virtue should be remembered by all; because as we see in such a personal way today, the freedoms we enjoy come at a dear cost."