PALMDALE, CA, US
SGT, TROOP A, 2D SQUADRON, 12TH CAVALRY, 4 BCT, FORT BLISS, TX
03/17/2007, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
From Kellie Allen – John’s mother:
Our son, Sergeant John E. Allen, a Medic for the US Army was KIA, in Ghazaliah, Iraq, on 17 March 2007, by IED. Our son was a wonderful soul and so talented.
He cared about people in a way that my husband and I, sometimes, couldn’t understand. He brought kids to us that needed assistance with their parents/guardians or who just needed a place to call home for a while. We helped out in the lives of so many of the kids that John brought to us. For one of them, Brandy, we became official foster parents just to keep her safe and in our home.
John was a born ‘medic’ whether it was for the physical body or the soul. He just knew what people needed. He brought animals to our home, too. The last, was a wonderful Rottweiler, Max. Just a puppy, but John shared his twin bed with this ‘puppy’ until he was over 130lbs!
Our son learned to play the violin at 9 years old with his twin sister. But the violin wasn’t his passion….it was the piano. He taught himself. He and his friend, Victor, would come home from high school and play on the two portable keyboards that we had at the time. They didn’t play rock or country but made up the most beautiful ‘classical’ compositions together. I wish I had a recording of the one song that they completed but I only have half of it that they recorded. It wasn’t the melody but just the background part of the composition. I used to just put my book down and listen to them play, over and over again. It was so beautiful that I could listen to it forever!
John was a very talented artist. He drew wonderful portraits of people. His last portrait was of his beautiful wife, Aspen. He was drawing it for her while he was in Iraq but somehow it never made it home! I have heard from other people that he worked with that it was very good but it somehow disappeared after he died.
John did sculpture work, too. He made a beautiful hummingbird from only a piece of wire, masking tape, and paint. It was for his grandmother on her 67th birthday…..she still treasures it.
John was a gymnast. Wow, could he do things with his body that most could only dream of doing! He did back flips and other things. He could run at a wall, hit it, and do a back flip off the wall. He once tried it without the wall, or a spotter, and I got a call from the school telling me to take him to the doctor….he broke his collarbone.
After high school, which he barely made the grade to graduate but he did, he went into the Navy. That was July 1999. He became a fuelman/firefighter off of the USS Carl Vinson. He was in the Persian Gulf when 9/11 happened and most munitions came from his ship. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, too, which isn’t reflected in his service records, for some reason. When he left the Navy, John wanted to become a police officer. Everything he had done…..filled out apps, tests, background checks, etc….became lost somewhere in the mists of time. After 2 years, he said he was tired of all of the ‘outside world and their expectations’ and said he was going into the Army. He wanted to join the Airborne Division but he ‘settled’ for training as a medic. A really good choice for him! He was in the Medical Magnet in high school until his friends took over…..if you know what I mean.
John was a pain in the butt as a teenager but grew into a wonderful man right before my eyes as I watched him marry his wife on July 7, 2006. He became responsible and a loving husband who paid his bills and just was a joy to be around before he left for deployment in Iraq.
I watched my son grow from a loving little boy, to a irresponsible teenager, to a caring young man, to a Navy personnel, to a frustrated young adult and finally to a man he was proud of being!
When he died, I know he was proud of who he was and, as a mother, I was so proud of what he was, MY SON!