Wife Mourns Recently Killed Soldier, Defends Mission

By: Lauri Martin Email
By: Lauri Martin Email

On the 5th anniversary of the war, there is confirmation that Fort Carson has lost two more heroes.

On Monday, a roadside bomb killed 41-year-old Staff Sergeant Michael Elledge as well as 23-year-old Corporal Christopher Simpson.

Only on 11 News, a soldier's widow talked about her husband and his mission.

Elledge’s wife, Carleen Elledge, said that she wants everyone to know that, even in her grief, she's convinced that he fought and died for a worthy cause.

“He would want to be remembered as a man of God," said Carleen.

"I know he went to heaven. He died instantly, which gives me comfort." It’s a little comfort for a widow left behind with two kids.

She said Mike’s plan was to get out of the Army as soon as he could get back home. When her husband left in December, it was his second deployment in three years. The sergeant wanted to get out to be home with his family.

"He was Mr. Fix It. He could fix a car stereo, anything. I was thinking about who's gonna be there to fix everything," cried Carleen.

The couple was married for 12 years. She remembers her last conversation with him. It was over a web cam. It was just days before he died. “He kissed the screen. He put his hands up. We were so happy, like teenagers in love."

Staff Sgt. Elledge was a husband, a father and a soldier. He was a hero whose life cut short right at the 5th anniversary of the war. “It upsets me when people aren't supportive. My husband went over there for a reason. If people aren't supportive of the war, then he died in vain."

Carleen was wearing her husband's favorite shirt Wednesday. It was the famous kissing picture from Life Magazine, the iconic image of the end of a war. Carleen said the key word is life. It’s a sign from her husband that she must go on. .

She also told 11 News that her husband had already planned out his R-and-R. He was going take his 8-year-old son to the top of Pike's Peak.

After this story ran on KKTV 11 News, many emailed the newsroom wanting to know where they could donate. Carleen has set up a fund, the Michael Elledge Memorial Fund at US Bank, account number: 153459821218.

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  • by Troy Location: Loveland on Apr 2, 2008 at 07:01 PM
    May God comfort you and all the others who have tragically lost loved ones in this illegal war that was started on lies sold to a nation of people in shock who would believe anything they were told. I support the troops, but not the misuse of them by our illegal government and the domestic enemies that have infiltrated it.
  • by kelly Location: brownstown ,mi on Apr 2, 2008 at 12:56 AM
    i remember all the fun times when u had bond fires at ur house.those were the good ol' days back then .later we have to turn into adults...i want to say to his family may god bless you in your time of need and when ever you look up u will look up at mike...thank you for my famlies freedom...you gave all of us the ultimate sacrifise your life...god bless you carleen and kids..my deepest prayers are with you...kelly jo..(cindys cousin)
  • by Cheryl Location: Brownsburg on Mar 24, 2008 at 03:54 PM
    Carleen, I'm so sorry to hear about Mike's death. Yet, I find comfort in your strength and your perspective of it all. We are praying for you here that God's comfort will continue to support you and envelop you on those days when it's especially difficult. Mom-to-Mom was years ago but we remember our sister in Christ. We appreciate beyond words the sacrifice that people like Mike and their families have made for our country. Men and women like him will be remembered in our hearts. May the peace of God always be with you. Love, Cheryl G.
  • by Sherry Location: Fountain on Mar 23, 2008 at 11:25 AM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both brave soldiers. They are true heros. If you can't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them!!!
  • by Jennifer Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 21, 2008 at 10:48 PM
    I am so sorry to hear about everything. Just remmember he is lookng down on you and your family. I pray for you. I hope the best for you. I will keep you in my prayers. I am happy that we can have you read the comme ts on here.
  • by janine Location: syracuse, ny on Mar 21, 2008 at 07:34 PM
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I am an aunt to the other brave soldier, Christopher Simpon, who was killed with your husband. Please know that we take solice that they were together and never knew what hit them. May God bless you and your family. Sincerely, Janine LeBlanc
  • by The Lozano Family Location: Chickamauga, Georgia on Mar 21, 2008 at 05:22 PM
    We were so shocked and saddened to hear about Mike. We have very fond memories of our time with the whole Elledge Family. We will be praying for you Carleen and the kids that you find comfort in the fact that without a doubt you will be reunited with him again someday and that he loved you deeply and that his honor and integrity will live on in all of you. God bless you all. If you need anything at all please don't hesitate to call.
  • by Connie Location: Brownsburg, In on Mar 21, 2008 at 03:36 PM
    Carleen, I am so glad to know that I can leave you a message here! Your friends from church here have been praying for you since we heard the news on Tuesday. Please know you are in the hearts and prayers of many. We pray that God comforts you and gives you peace. I was so heartened to hear your message about Mike being in heaven, as I was thinking earlier that he will be spending Easter with his Savior in heaven! We honor his sacrifice on our behalf. He was fighting to keep us free - please know there are people that recognize this! I remember singing with Mike on Sunday mornings after he had worked the night before, just going home to take a shower. That is the dedication of a man who cares for others more than he does himself. Our love stretches across the country to you. Love, Connie
  • by Keli Location: Brownsburg on Mar 21, 2008 at 02:50 PM
    To the Elledge Family, We are so sorry to hear the awful new about Mike. Our thoughts and prayer are with you. May God be with you now and always. The Hunt Family
  • by ACTIVE DUTY OFFICER Location: Baghdad, Iraq - 68th CSSB on Mar 21, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    My wife is with Carleen as I write this. Upon my return to Fort Carson, with Carleens' permission, I will carry SSG Elledge's son to the top of Pikes Peak with my son, Carson, to ensure his wish is carried out and that SSG Elledge is honored as the HERO he and all other Soldiers who have paid the ultimate price have earned. May GOD bless and protect the familes of all service members serving their country and never forget our FALLEN HEROS.
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