KIA February 23, 2009
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska
Army CPL Michael Alleman died February 23, 2009 of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire in Balad, Iraq. Also killed were CPL Michael L. Mayne and CPL Zachary R. Nordmeyer.
In his youth, Michael planted 5,000 trees as part of his Eagle Scout service project in Georgia, where he went to high school and spent much of his childhood. Michael then moved to Utah in 1998 and got a degree in education from Utah State University. He later left his job as a popular fifth-grade teacher at Nibley Elementary School to join the Army. He enlisted in January 2008 and was assigned to Alaska’s Fort Wainwright later that year. “He was the epitome of a soldier,” Bill Landauer explained, a former Nibley Elementary principal. “That’s what he wanted to do, more than anything else. Teaching came second…the only thing that didn’t come second was his family.” Samantha Larkin was a student in Michael’s class. She said that he told his students he was joining the Army, noting that President George Washington had left his career as a farmer to take up arms. “He said that George Washington was his hero,” Samantha said.
Michael met his wife, Amy, when they were working the graveyard shift at a local grocery store. They married in 2002 and had two children, Kai and Kennet. “Michael was not known for smiling a lot but when he met Amy, he never stopped,” his mother, Susan, recalled. Amy and Michael never spoke harshly to each other. “How can I speak unkindly of the one person who encourages me to develop talents I didn’t even know I had?” she said. “To the one person who worked three jobs so I could stay home to raise our sons and never once complained about it.” His family remembers him as a funny, strong man with a sense of purpose who believed in the military effort in Iraq. Amy concluded, “He went down taking out the bad guys, and he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
CPL Michael Alleman was 31 years old from Logan, Utah
Original portrait was presented February 23, 2012 to Michael’s wife and family during a special memorial event held at Logan High School in Logan, Utah