BUELLTON, CA, USA U.S. Marines CPL, 1ST BN, 4TH MAR, (RCT-1, I MEF FWD), 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 11/14/2008
Children in the Santa Ynez Valley who can’t afford to play in the local youth football league will benefit from a foundation established in the name of Marine Corporal Aaron Michael Allen at Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. He was killed in action, November 14, 2008, in Ferris, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, while serving with A Company, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, First Division, on his second combat tour.
Aaron was born May 29, 1984, in Goleta, California, and grew up in Buellton, California, where he attended Jonata School from kindergarten through eighth grade and then moved on to Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, where he was a member of the school’s football, baseball and wrestling teams.
Aaron joined the Marine Corps in March 2004, and completed boot camp training with honors from his platoon. “Aaron always had a unique way of making everyone feel that they were so very special to him,” said his father, Michael Allen. “I think he felt like that was the branch that best represented his feelings about wanting to do his duty for the country. One thing about Aaron – when he made up his mind, he fulfilled his goals.”
“I wanted nothing to do with it. There was no way I could talk him out of it,” his mother, Cathy Allen, said. “At one point when he was going overseas, I told him I had the right — since he was my only son — to stop this. He begged me not to. He said he had trained for this, he wanted to do it.”
His goal was to continue service to his community as a fireman after his discharge from the Marine Corps in March 2009. But he died five months before that could happen. At Corporal Allen’s vigil, held on November 24 at Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, people walked to the front of the church and told stories about the fallen Marine. Eerily, the hours-long memorial was cut short when a lighting ballast in the balcony caught fire. People at the service laughed, blaming it on Allen and his desire to be a firefighter after he was discharged. Corporal Allen’s body was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard after the service at the Mission.
In addition to his parents, Aaron is survived by his sister, Amy Allen and fiance, Kelly Zajac, of Buellton; stepmother, Dora Allen; and stepsisters, Whitney and Ashley Farias of Highland, California; paternal grandmother, Linda Fenton of Palm Springs, California; brother, Michael R. Allen (wife Marquel) of Seattle, Washington; and half-sister, Tamie Anderson (husband Kelly).