A young northwest Iowa man who enlisted in the Marines one month after the Nine Eleven attacks is among the 31 American soldiers killed in Wednesday’s helicopter crash in Iraq. Corporal Nathan Schubert of Cherokee would have turned 23 on Thursday (yesterday). Cherokee Mayor Dennis Henrich says the town is honoring Schubert’s memory. Flags in Cherokee are being ordered to half-staff until the funeral has been held. A date for the service has not been set yet. It’s the first death of a soldier from Cherokee since the Vietnam War. Schubert graduated from Washington High School in Cherokee in 2001. His homeroom teacher for all four years was Ruth Hayes, who saw Schubert just a few months ago when he was home on leave. Hayes says Schubert stopped her on the sidewalk last fall to update her on his career as a Marine. She said he was proud to be serving in the Corps and was based in Hawaii and was happy to be back in Iowa to see his friends. Hayes remembers Schubert as a friendly guy. Hayes says Schubert “always had a smile that made you wonder what he was thinking of or maybe what he’d just done.” He’d come into homeroom and sit and talk with his buddies about whatever sport was in season or whatever hunting season was on. He’s the 20th Iowan to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Schubert had already gotten his orders to leave Iraq February 4th.
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