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Alex Cabrero ReportingUtah's latest war casualty returned home tonight. The body of Marine Lance Corporal Michael Allred arrived on an airplane at Salt Lake International Airport.
50 or more family and friends came from Cache County just to be there for support. Lance Corporal Allred was only 22-years old, but in his short life, he's already done more than most people. ow, plenty of them are saying thank you.
Airports can be happy places and sad places, where you say hello and goodbye. Unfortunately, one Cache County family had to do both Friday night.
Brett Allred, Michael's Father: “We’re going to get our son off the plane now. I’d much rather him be alive so I can put my arms around him.”
Michael Allred of Hyde Park was killed earlier this week when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy in Fallujah, Iraq.
Brett Allred: “It’s a day we didn’t look forward to, but nonetheless, he was willing to put himself in harm’s way.”
And when his body arrived, so many people who knew him wanted to say thank you. There is no easy way to go about something like this, but together you can find strength.
Capt. Christian Portiss, US Marines: “They’re doing as well as can be expected. They’re a strong family. Their faith and their community are giving them a lot of strength. They’ll get through it.”
Through it, yes, but never over it. Like many families who've lost loved ones in war, the Allreds feel Michael died for a reason -- a reason they may not understand, but fully support.
Brett Allred: "We believed in his mission. We believe he was in the right place doing the right thing. And he believed that also, and knowing that's how he felt, it makes it easy for us to address the public and let them know that that's the way it is."
Allred received a police escort back to his home in Cache County. His funeral is set for this coming Monday. He'll be buried in Hyde Park.