Matthew L. Tallman
Sergeant, United States Army
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1039-07
August 23, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the
death of 14 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They
died August 22, 2007, in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their
Group Burial Funeral Services: Friday, 24 October 2008: Arlington National Cemetery
RICKEY L BELL, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JEREMY P BOUFFARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PHILLIP BRODNICK, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
DEREK A DOBOGAI, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
PAUL J FLYNN, Chief Warrant Officer 2, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JOSHUA C HARMON, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MICHAEL A HOOK, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
NATHAN A HUBBARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
GARRETT I MCLEAD, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JASON L PATON, Staff Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
JESSY G POLLARD, Corporal, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
TYLER R SEIDEMAN, Specialist, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
MATTHEW L TALLMAN, Sergeant, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
CORRY TYLER, Captain, USA POST CHAPEL 11:00
Honoring Fallen 14 With 'Quiet Strength'
By Mark Berman
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Four Black Hawk helicopters skimmed overhead against the backdrop of a gray, cloudy sky. Below, more than 150 people brought together by tragedy and united in grief gathered yesterday to pay tribute to 14 soldiers honored at Arlington National Cemetery.
The soldiers were killed August 22, 2007, in a helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq. Each had been buried separately. But 14 months after the accident, which was caused by mechanical failure, family and friends bundled together on a chilly October morning for a group tribute.
The mourners followed a horse-drawn caisson bearing a single flag-cloaked silver coffin up Bradley Drive. The coffin was carried to Section 60 of the cemetery and placed amid a bevy of red, white and blue flowers.
As part of the service, folded flags were given to parents and siblings, widows and a best friend. Each flag was touched for a moment to the coffin before being handed to the loved ones of the fallen soldiers.
The soldiers were between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. They hailed from 11 states, spanning from California to Massachusetts.
Captain Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Woodbine, Georgia, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 and had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2006. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, North Carolina, was a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with a decade of service.
The eldest soldier, Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, California, was a tall, easygoing man and a devoted father, family members told the Los Angeles Times.
The youngest soldiers were Corporal Joshua S. Harmon, of Mentor, Ohio, and Specialist Tyler R. Seideman, of Lincoln, Arkansas, both 20. Harmon, a medic, had married his wife, Kristin, 84 days before his death, she told the News-Herald in Ohio. Seideman, who loved to joke, was a generous person who would "give you the shirt off his back if you needed it," said his best friend, Jeremy Bolivear, at a memorial service honoring the soldier, according to the Morning News in Arkansas.
Specialist Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Missouri, joined the military in 2005 after graduating from high school.
Tyler, Flynn, Tallman and Bell were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Captain Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was selfless, kind and too modest to boast about his accomplishments, his family said in a statement last year. "Therefore, we will honor him with quiet strength," relatives said.
Staff Sergeant Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, California, was to be married November 18, 2007, family members told the Los Angeles Times. He had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before, and his second deployment to Iraq was scheduled to end three weeks after the helicopter crash.
Sergeant Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas, liked surfing, skateboarding and playing soccer. He enlisted shortly after his birthday in May 2002 because of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Rockport Pilot.
Corporal Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Massachusetts, was a jokester and a loyal, dedicated man who loved his wife Amanda, son Caleb and the Boston Red Sox. Nearly 1,000 mourners attended his funeral last year, according to the Boston Globe.
Corporal Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Illinois, was "the life of the party," a friend wrote on the guest book of a Web site dedicated to his memory.
Corporal Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, California, was one of three brothers serving in Iraq. Marine Lance Corporal Jared Hubbard was killed in 2004, so Nathan and Jason Hubbard enlisted to honor their brother's sacrifice. Jason Hubbard was in the same platoon as Nathan and in a helicopter ordered to secure the crash site, according to CNN.
Specialist Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, was excited to come home because his fiancee, Susan Fetterman, was pregnant, according to the Altoona Mirror. Mere weeks after the crash, she gave birth to their son, Mason.
Corporal Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Missouri, embraced and believed in what he was doing and would tell family members about jumping out of planes at night, they told the Associated Press.
Dobogai, Paton, McLead, Bouffard, Brodnick, Harmon, Hubbard, Hook, Pollard and Seideman were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Yesterday's burial brought to 447 the number
of Iraq war casualties buried, memorialized or inurned at Arlington National
Virginia Tallman continues to replay a trio of messages left on her answering machine this summer.
Her only child, Matthew, first called to tell her he had arrived in Kuwait, on his way to Iraq. Then, he left word to say he had reached the Iraqi town of Kirkuk and was keeping busy as a helicopter crew chief in the Army. And on a third call, he said the sand was bothering him, but there was no reason to worry.
“He said, ‘I don’t want you to sit here worrying about me, Mom. I’m safe,’ ” Virginia Tallman said, recounting her son’s third message.
Each time, she was away from the phone.
The recorded messages carry even greater meaning these days, since Army Sergeant Matthew L. Tallman was killed August 22, 2007, in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq, north of Baghdad. At age 30, he was the oldest of 14 soldiers killed.
Tallman was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th Air Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Washington.
Now when she replays his final message, his mother says aloud, “I don’t have to worry about you anymore, Matt.”
Soon after Tallman graduated from high school in 1996, his mother suggested that he join the Army. He wasn’t a particularly good student and didn’t really like to study, she said, so she thought the military might be the right fit.
But he said no. “He said, ‘Well, Mom, you want me to jump from the fireplace to the fire,’ ” his mother recalled.
Tallman worked and traveled for three years, and then moved back to his mother’s home in Groveland, east of Modesto. One day, he came home and told her that he had visited the Army recruiter and was going to enlist.
“Boot camp was a wonderful thing for him,” she said. “It gave him a lot of confidence and a lot of discipline… . I think he was like a lot of young men that just grow up a little slow.”
Tallman met his wife, Nicole, in 2000, when both were in training at Fort Eustis, Virginia. She was in his barracks, teaching new arrivals how to prepare their lockers for inspection, and “he was the only one who wasn’t listening to me. He had his ears plugged up with earphones while listening to his music. That’s how he got me to notice him.”
Not that it was tough to notice him. At 6 feet 2, “he kind of stood out no matter where he was,” she said.
They were married later that year and, in 2001, their daughter, Sandra, was born. “He was devoted to her from the second her big blue eyes looked at his,” his wife said. “She was definitely something special to her dad.”
Last year, the couple’s second child, Matthew Ryley, was born. Tallman “wanted to have a boy so bad,” his wife said. “He said, ‘I won’t believe it until he comes out and pees on the doctor.’ ”
Virginia Tallman said she wasn’t nervous about her son’s safety when he was dispatched to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2004 as part of a helicopter maintenance crew.
But she was apprehensive when she learned this year that he would be sent to Iraq as part of the flight squadron.
“I was pretty upset,” she said. “When he left, I said, ‘Matt, I don’t want you to go.’ He just said, ‘I know, Mom. I know.’ ”
Tallman’s mother and widow described him as an easygoing guy who loved the outdoors, computer games and reading. Born and reared in the Bay Area, he was a good skier and enjoyed bicycling. His mother regularly took him on hikes – much to his dismay initially.
But as he got older, he fell in love with the wilderness. “Every time he came home, he’d have to go and get his dose of Yosemite,” his mother said.
Michael Seidler, a teacher at St. Lawrence Academy in Santa Clara, where Matthew attended high school, said he seemed to be looking for direction as a teenager.
“He was figuring out life by the time he passed away,” Seidler said. “Life was coming together for him.”
Before Tallman died, his superiors in the Army asked him to apply for a promotion to Sergeant. Posthumously, he was awarded the designation.
Tallman’s father, H.L. “Ted,” died when Matthew was 3. Matthew was buried near his dad’s grave at Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, Califfornia.
Tallman’s voice doesn’t just remain on his mother’s answering machine. Before he left for Iraq, he recorded a greeting on a stuffed dog that he purchased for his daughter. He says, “Sandie, I love you and I miss you, and I’ll never ever forget about you. I love you very much.”
Posted: 25 October 2008