By Tom Wharton
HYRUM, Utah – A decade has passed since the fateful day in Iraq when Corporal Micheal Alleman died in an attack that killed three Americans. He left a wife, Amy, and two young sons, Kennet and Kai, behind.
What happens to a family when a husband, father, son and brother dies suddenly in combat? How does the family cope?
The Alleman’s talk about what it means to serve for them in the second episode of the “We Happy Few” podcast – Sacrifice.
Amy talks about travelling to her husband’s gravesite, less than a mile from her Hyrum home, where she still has one-sided conversations with her husband.
His memory, from his wit to his intellect, has hardly faded over the years. She described Micheal as a lover of knowledge, a hard worker, strong physically and mentally, handsome and a person who savored words.
Michael, a curious sort, thought about joining the Army out of high school. But he went to college, fell in love, became a father and started teaching fifth grade.
The September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., changed all that. Amy recalled that instead of thinking he couldn’t join because he was too old and had a young family, Michael decided he needed to serve precisely because he had a young family.
His two sons read their father’s journals and try to remember him.
“It’s hard at first,” shared Kennet. “But you get over it.”
Kai said that it is particularly difficult when he watches friends do things with their dads.
“I really wish he were here when I see my friends with their fathers,” he said. “He served his country for a reason.”
When the funeral is over, the flowers are gone and friends and family members go on with their lives. What remains for families like the Allemans are loving memories and the knowledge that the man they miss made the honorable choice when he made the ultimate sacrifice for the country they all love.