In ceremonies steeped in military rituals, U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Aaron D. “Doc” Ullom was honored at his Friday funeral services as a hero who died saving another man’s life. Midlanders recognized his sacrifice by coming out in droves to pay their respects to him and to support his family.
Funeral services for the 20-year-old Midlander who was killed in action on July 12 in Helmand province of Afghanistan were Friday afternoon at Midland Evangelical Free Church. Ullom was taking part in Operation Enduring Freedom and was assigned as a hospitalman to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He deployed to Afghanistan in February for his first tour of duty and was to return home this fall.
His family and friends watched as he was awarded medals, among them the Purple Heart presented by U.S. Navy BMCS Russell Dotson, for his bravery. They also listened as his actions in the last moments of his life were shared.
Ullom’s mother, Debi Bartley-Ullom, read a letter her family received from the family of the U.S. Marine lieutenant her son died while administering medical aid to.
“Your son died saving our son’s life,” the man’s father wrote, adding the pair were in a very shallow ditch as his own son bled badly. Ullom did not hesitate to come to the other man’s aid, climbing on top of him to protect him, assessing his wounds and applying a tourniquet.
“Aaron protected him, and exposed himself,” Bartley-Ullom read from the letter. “There will not be a day in our lives that passes without thinking of Aaron.”
“I’m here today to honor and celebrate the life of a shipmate — Doc Ullom,” U.S. Navy RADM Donald Gintzig said. “Doc Ullom was a great sailor, a great shipmate, a hospital corpsman, a hero, a patriot.”
That Ullom chose to serve as a hospital corpsman tells a lot about him, Gintzig said, explaining a hospital corpsman is the one person who jumps up when the firing starts. “He lost his life doing what he was trained to do,” and was full of bravery while saving the lives of other soldiers. “He did what was necessary to defend our freedoms.”...