KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | News

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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