On this Memorial Day, I am re-posting this piece I wrote about Colonel Brian Allgood, who was killed in Iraq. It was originally posted January 25, 2007.
We have been blessedly untouched by the fatalities from the war in Iraq. Yesterday, we found out that someone we knew had been killed in the Blackhawk crash on January 20th. He wasn’t really a friend, not even an acquaintance. Not a co-worker or a neighbor. He was the commander of the hospital in Yongsan, South Korea when our Rebecca died.
While the rest of the hospital gave us the run around, passed the buck and otherwise treated us quite poorly, COL Brian Allgood did the opposite. He invited us to sit down and talk with him personally about all that had happened. He made sure we were kept informed throughout the investigation. He told us to call him if we needed anything. In many ways, he was just doing his job, but in those darkest weeks of our lives, he showed us a compassion that was lacking in the lower levels of the hospital administration. A few months later, when a good friend’s daughter needed emergency surgery and blood transfusions to save her life, COL Allgood was again the voice of calm and comfort. He went out of his way to make sure that things were handled correctly.
Our remaining time in Korea without Becca was a series of struggles with the hospital. We did have to call COL Allgood for help and he immediately fixed the situation. I cannot begin to tell you what that meant to us. This is not the time to drag up painful memories of broken system. It is a time to remember the good that one man did and to honor his memory. Sadly, I don’t know much about him, other that he leaves a wife and a young son. If we had ever seen him again, I knew I wanted to thank him for all that he had done for us in Korea. I’m sorry I will never have that chance.