Jill Atwood ReportingHis last e-mail from Iraq came Sunday night. Before he was killed Captain Nathan Dalley was always pretty vague about his duties in Baghdad because he didn't want his family here in Utah to worry. But the fact, is he was an infantryman, always near the action.
According to the family that is exactly where he wanted to be, in the middle of the action, defending his country, and freeing the Iraqi people.
The stories of Nate kept coming today and so did the laughs. The Dalley family clings to those memories now and continues to brag about their career soldier. A West Point grad, a captain in the 1st Armored Division, but a real softie when it came to his family, and his friends.
Alicia Schroeder, Nathan's oldest sister, got the word first. She opened the door Monday night to a police officer and two military colonels.
Alicia Shroeder, Nathan's Sister: "I knew what it was before he said a word. I knew what it was. I could not believe that what they were saying could be true and asked him over and over ‘Are you sure?’"
The details surrounding his death are still pretty vague. The Department of Defense has only said the 27-year old died of a non-hostile gunshot wound. Despite their loss, The Dalley family chooses not to be angry; they still believe in what Nathan was doing.
"I would never turn my back on that now. Even though I lost him I know he paid the ultimate sacrifice but he paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. And that sacrifice has to be made and he’s the last person I'd like to give up for it, but he did and I am so proud of him for it."
Nathan's sisters, his brother and his mom wanted to talk today. They wanted to put a face to what just may be a number to someone else.
"He was a person. And just like the other men and women that are in Iraq they are people with a story and a family and that's what I want people to know."
Captain Nathan Dalley's body has been brought back to the states, although it is not here in Utah yet. His family plans to bury him with full military honors and they hope to do that before Thanksgiving.