Sunday, August 26, 2007

Matthew Tallman remembered

Army Sgt. Matthew L. Tallman was a seven-year veteran of the military finally poised for the promotion he'd sought after seeing a need for leaders to guide young people just entering the service.

Tallman, of Groveland, Calif., did not live to see that promotion. He was one of 14 soldiers who died Wednesday when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in northern Iraq, according to the Department of Defense.

The 30-year-old father of two was promoted from specialist to sergeant after his death. The Army has blamed mechanical problems rather than enemy fire for the crash.

"He loved what he did, and died doing what he wanted," his wife, Nicole Tallman, told The Modesto Bee. "He was enjoying the fact that he was in a leadership role."

Tallman grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, said his mother, Virginia Tallman of Groveland. His father died when he was young, and he was her only child, she said.

The two loved to hike at Yosemite, and he displayed a knack for all things mechanical at an early age.

"He could fix anything," Virginia Tallman said. "He never read directions, he just picked it up and did it."

After he enlisted, Tallman was trained as a Blackhawk technician. He served as a helicopter mechanic in Afghanistan before being sent to Iraq as a crew chief.

Assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis, Wash., Tallman was a decorated soldier whose awards included the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Tallman will be buried in San Jose near his father, Virginia Tallman said. He is survived by his wife, two children and mother.

From the San Jose Mercury News

Related Link:
Matthew L. Tallman dies 'of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed'