Retiring master sergeant

From left, Shannon Allen looks on as a hat is placed on her husband, Master Sgt. Mark Allen, by Brig. Gen. John King, director of Joint Staff, Georgia National Guard. The hat was part of the promotion and retirement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013.

LOGANVILLE, Ga. — Retired Master Sgt. Mark Allen, who was severely injured in Afghanistan, has died.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Thursday at Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville.

The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church of Snellville. Burial will follow at Corinth Memorial Gardens in the Youth community.

Allen spent 21 years in the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard. He retired in 2013 upon receiving a Purple Heart.

Allen was shot by a sniper while on foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2009, and required three years of care at a military hospital in Florida. He was left unable to walk or talk, and in need of 24-hour care.

Colleagues said Allen was searching for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had left his post in eastern Afghanistan. Bergdahl was captured and held for five years until released in a 2014 prisoner swap.

The community rallied around the Allen family when he returned home. Volunteers built a playground for Allen’s young daughter and did landscaping, and helped buy adaptive jackets for other soldiers who had been wounded.

Allen is survived by his wife, Shannon; son, Cody; and daughter, Journey.

Look for more on this story as it becomes available, and in Wednesday’s Walton Tribune.


Email: david.clemons@waltontribune.com

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