Unless you know Mark and Shannon Allen, you probably don’t recognize the man on the left. For a while, Mark probably didn’t recognize him either, even though that’s his picture. See, while serving the United States of America as a soldier in Afghanistan, Mark was shot in the head and critically wounded on July 8, 2009. He’s been rehabbing and rebuilding here in the States ever since.
If you want to know more about Mark’s story, you can sign up for his CaringBridge website here; it’s where I got the picture, and read about the latest in his long journey of recovery. I don’t know Mark personally, though I did go to high school with his wife, Shannon, and have gotten to know the family better through Shannon’s Facebook and CaringBridge updates. I know that he and Shannon have a precious little daughter named Journey, and I know that they appreciate and need every prayer.
I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by trying to craft a story out of nothing – I’m probably treading on some extremely thin ice just by posting this much – since I don’t know Mark and can’t say I’m anything close to an acquaintance of the family. I just felt like on Veteran’s Day, a wounded soldier and the family that loves him should know that hundreds of miles away a grown man is sitting at his computer and crying like a baby over their collective sacrifice, grateful to God that Mark Allen was willing to take a bullet for me and my family.
I, and anyone else who might read this, owe Mark, Shannon, and every other American service family at least that much. You are heroes, all.