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Friends remember Colorado Marine who took his own life on post in San Diego

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 20:44:49-04

LOVELAND, Colo. -- Friends and family are remembering a Colorado Marine who was found dead on post at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.

1st Marine Division press officer Capt. Paul Gainey said the medical examiner found Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz, 19, killed himself.

Schultz was born and raised in Longmont. He loved fishing, his family and above all, loved being a Marine.

William Seal lived next door to Schultz and said fishing brought the two together even though he was much older than Schultz.

"Riley wanted to fish all the time," he said. "There's just something about the little guy you couldn't ignore."

From a young age until the day he left Colorado to join the Marines, Seal said the two fished sometimes twice a week.

"I didn't intend for this to be a memorial wall, but it kind of turned out that way. Just thought that was a fitting place for my little buddy, my fishing buddy," Seal said while pointing to the wall where Schultz's basic training graduation photo now hangs.

There's a troubling trend in the U.S. military. Suicide is rising among active duty service members. The Marines saw a 25-percent increase in deaths by suicide last year.

"You hear about 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Military and suicide kind of go hand-in-hand, it seems," Seal said.

Seal comes from a military family and is also a veteran.

"I think I can kind of understand that better than the average civilian," he said.

The Federal Protection Agency said it is providing a Dignified Honors Motorcade for Schultz when he is brought home from Denver International Airport to a funeral home in Loveland.

Services are scheduled for April 6.