Palmdale soldier’s loss felt

first_imgPALMDALE – Richard and Kellie Allen remember their son John as a daredevil who loved the outdoors, a musician who taught himself to play the piano and an artist whose work graces the walls of their home. Sgt. John E. Allen, a 1999 Palmdale High School graduate who married his high school sweetheart in July, died in combat Saturday in Baghdad, Iraq. “His favorite thing to do was to go to Littlerock Dam and jump off the cliffs. He was a daredevil,” Kellie Allen said. “He loved to snowboard; he scuba-dived, sky-dived. He wouldn’t say no to anything the first time.” Richard Allen said his son thoroughly enjoyed life and was not one to waste it doing nothing. “He was just a very outgoing person, active, very much living his life. He was not one to sit around watching television. He was out and about all the time, and he liked the outdoors,” Richard Allen said. John Allen, 25, and three other soldiers died when a roadside bomb detonated near their vehicle. All four soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Bliss, Texas. Allen was a health care specialist who joined the Army in July2005 and was doing his first tour in Iraq. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Aspen; a twin sister, Amanda; and a younger brother, Adam, who is in the Air Force and is stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. Allen will be buried Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery, where his grandfather, an Army master sergeant with whom Allen shares his name, is buried. Allen’s parents said their son went into the Navy right after high school and served from 1999 to 2003 and then enlisted in the Army in 2005. Kellie Allen, who works along with her husband for Anheuser-Busch in Van Nuys, said her son was talented musically and artistically. “He was totally self-taught (on the piano), but he was awesome,” she said. “He drew. We have artwork on the walls that he did over the years from high school.” John Allen had just gotten a new computer and had told his father that he was drawing a picture of his wife, she said. Kellie Allen said she last talked to her son March5 when he called and told her he was going on a mission and would be incommunicado for three weeks. She said her son e-mailed his wife several days before he was killed. Kellie Allen said she would like to thank the community for the support it has shown. Sheriff’s deputies came to their home to offer condolences, and the Palmdale City Council at Wednesday’s meeting discussed how it could show support for the family. Allen’s military awards and decorations include a Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and a Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Army officials said. Allen and the other three soldiers were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Fort Bliss will be holding a memorial service for the four soldiers April21. The soldiers were deployed overseas in late October to provide stability and security operations, Army officials said. [email protected] (661) 267-5744last_img read more