One year later, community remembers fallen Midland sailor - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

One year later, community remembers fallen Midland sailor

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MIDLAND (WJRT) -

(07/12/12) - The Midland community gathered Thursday night to remember a fallen sailor.

Hospital Corpsman Aaron Ullom died exactly one year ago while serving in Afghanistan.

He graduated from Midland High School in 2009.

For his service, Ullom was awarded a purple heart and a Navy commendation of Valor.

He was 20 years old.

Ullom was serving as a "doc" in Afghanistan and died while saving another man's life.

His family says time doesn't really heal a wound this deep.

"Every time I hear the national anthem, I cry, which I didn't do before, it's not easier," said Debi Ullom, Aaron's mother. "What I try to explain to everyone is a piece of my heart is gone, it's not going to come back."

To celebrate his life, friends and family clutched colorful balloons Thursday night at the Midland cemetery.

They released the balloons into the evening sky to honor a true American hero.

"I keep saying ‘remember, never forget.' If I have to keep doing this every six months, I'll do it just to keep his memory alive," Debi said.                                                    

A friend and a brother in arms, Keith Adams made a pact with Ullom to take care of his family if anything ever happened to him.

Adams hasn't broken that promise; he remembers Ullom as man who loved serving and protecting.

"Funny guy, if you want encouragement or someone to talk to, he's the guy to talk to," Adams, U.S. Navy HM3, said. "He goofs off a lot, his favorite saying was ‘I'm just sayin'!'"

Ullom's family is taking steps to keep his memory alive.

They're starting a group called Aaron's Gifts From Home, and they're working to send care packages to troops overseas.

More information can be found on their "Aaron's Gifts From Home" Facebook page.

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