Seoul American Elementary School honors fallen heroes
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- "Miss Jackson's class chose a hero who is very special to me," said Summer Norman, a Seoul American Elementary School 2nd grader. "Very special to me because he is my dad."
So began an emotional "Miles for Heroes" ceremony on Sims Field, May 24, as Military children honored 10 men and women from all branches of Service for paying the ultimate sacrifice.
"He volunteered to go to Iraq because that was the kind of person he was," Summer said. "He was caring and dedicated to serving his Country."
Capt. Michael Allen Norman was helping train Iraqi police as part of the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kan. during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Military intelligence officer was killed by a roadside bomb Jan. 31, 2008.
"He wanted to make a difference by being a good Soldier," Summer said. "They say that my dad was a great team leader. They say that my dad was an expert at what he did and always looked for ways to help others."
Every 2nd grade class researched and spoke about a Servicemember … a helicopter pilot, a sailor … 10 fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters … gone, but definitely not forgotten.
Summer was only three-years-old when she last saw her father.
"I remember how he liked singing and playing guitar for us," Summer said. "I remember how he liked to match his shoes to his outfit. My mom says that he had more shoes than she does."
She goes on to remember how her father used to cut and paste his own picture onto each family photo.
"He did this to show us that he was with us in spirit while he was away at war," Summer said.
Bravery must run in the Family. Summer confided she thought about her father the whole time she was speaking at the podium.
"The Army honored my dad with many special awards for his bravery," Summer said "But today I want to honor him by giving him an award as my hero and my dad."