Cpl. Donald P. Allen
US Army, 1952-54
Fifth Infantry Division
21st Field Artillery Battalion
Duty Station: First Cavalry Division
16th Reconnaissance Company
This was my father. He was a veteran, Army, Korean era. I knew this about him but didn’t really comprehend the deep meaning of the fact he was a veteran. He died when I was just a year old. I never had the blessings of knowing him though I heard stories here and there throughout my life.
Those of you whom I have met and had the privilege to get to know during my first two years of “service” to veterans with HMHB of NEDSRA in Addison, IL, have demonstrated and taught me about so many amazing character traits common of someone who served in the military. A fierce loyalty and commitment, pride and honor, teamwork and support for each other, a little bit of sarcasm and sometimes a lot of “BS”.
You have trusted me and included me in ways I never expected, sharing of your challenges with PTSD, the resulting family issues, adapting to new body images after injury, struggling with finding balance in the community and family life without the constant adrenaline rush, welcomed or not, after living in combat.
I’ve learning from you about the adjustments to illnesses long after your service, the honor and frustrations from being married to, or being a child of a veteran. I am so honored by your trust in our mission, blessed by your amazing support and assistance to me, and humbled by your belief in me as a “battle worthy buddy” because of my beliefs in YOU!
So I want to thank you, all of you, veterans of every era and all experiences during peace time or war, for sharing of yourselves, your stories, your hearts and your souls. You have given me one of the greatest gifts of all: I feel like I have gotten to know the part of my father who was a soldier, a part that I would have never known otherwise, if it weren’t for you. For me that is priceless.
AllenForce was named to honor a man I love but never really knew. And our inspiration, every day, is you, our veterans. God bless you all and thank you for your service in every way!
Donna L. Allen-Sebok, CTRS
Founder and President