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Three soldiers have been killed during fighting in Iraq; one of them is a soldier from Utah. Specialist Micheal Alleman died during a combat mission Monday.
Alleman was 32 years old. He left his career as a school teacher in the Cache Valley to join the Army and had been a soldier for only about a year.
Tuesday evening, U.S. flags surround Alleman's parents' home in American Fork. His wife said she last communicated with him over the Internet on Saturday night, sending him pictures of their son's birthday party.
"We were chatting online. I actually sent him the e-mail saying, ‘I just sent those pictures to you.' And he texted me back and said, ‘We have two beautiful boys, don't we?' And I said, ‘Yes we do.' And that's the last I heard from him," Amy Alleman said.
While their two sons are very young, Amy says they will always remember their father's bravery and sacrifice. "My boys will always know their father stood up to defend this country, and that he loves us more than anything," she said.
Alleman taught 5th grade at Nibley Elementary School in Cache County until two years ago. That's when he made the decision to serve his country and joined the Army. He finished his basic training just one year ago, then was deployed to Iraq.
"He said the country needs good men to stand up, and said, ‘I'm willing to do that.' And we left a life of comfort and security and we stepped out, and I know he didn't die in vain. I know that," Amy said.
The U.S. Department of Defense reports the three soldiers were killed when insurgents attacked their unit about 70 miles north of Baghdad.
Funeral arrangements for Specialist Alleman are still being finalized.
If you would like to help the Alleman family with funeral and other expenses, you can donate at any Wells Fargo branch in the name of Micheal or Amy Alleman.