Lonnie Calvin Allen Jr.
Sereant, United States Army
RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 463-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2006
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry(703)428-0711
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on May 18, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries sustained on May 18, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during combat operations.
Lieuetnant Colonel Daniel E. Holland, 43, of
San Antonio, Texas
Holland was assigned to the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Seidel, Allen and Cournoyer were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York
For further information related to this release,
contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.
He will be buried in Arlington Park National Cemetery. His family has mixed sorrow and pride.
"He was always dear to his friends," said Nuru Allen, Calvin's brother. "Sometimes it would get me upset because it seemed like he cared about other people more than himself, you know. He always wanted to put everybody first."
Allen was a Sergeant with the 10th Mountain Division and he met his wife in Germany.
"He said you know if I wouldn't have joined the army we never would have met, which is true, but that's the only positive thing that came out of it," said Birgit Allen, Calvin's widow. "I mean I didn't want him to go to Iraq obviously, but there's nothing you can do."
Allen not only went to Germany, but he served in Bosnia, Kosovo and two tours in Iraq.
"He volunteered," said Lonnie Allen Sr., Calvin's father. "He did his first hitch then he re-enlisted, so I feel he was doing something he wanted to do."
Allen died last Thursday when the vehicle he was in hit a roadside bomb.
"I never in my foggiest dream thought I'd lose him because I prayed so hard morning and night asking for his protection around him and then when this came up I kind of wondered what was wrong with my prayer Thursday morning," said Sallie Allen, Calvin's mother. "The reason I lost my child."
The family is holding on to memories of a son, brother, and husband and mourning for dreams that will never be.
"He wanted to buy a house and have a couple of kids," said Birgit Allen.
The funeral service is being planned and will
be held in Bellevue. The Allen family said Sergeant Allen dreamed of retuning
to the area after leaving the military and hoped to have a career in law
Family confirmed to KETV NewsWatch 7 that U.S. Army Sergeant Lonnie Calvin Allen Jr., 26, died on Thursday when a roadside bomb hit his Humvee. He was a member of the 10th Mountain Division.
Mother Sallie Allen said her son has been in Iraq since August. The Allens said they saw the military officials approaching their home on Thursday and immediately knew their son was dead.
"When I drove up, they were at my neighbor's house," said Sallie Allen. "They moved from behind the tree and I knew exactly what happened."
Lonnie and Sallie Allen said their son was kind and courageous.
"He was pursuing a career in criminal justice, and he thought this would help him out, to go into the Army, and then he would have more money for college," Sallie Allen said.
Calvin Allen graduated from Bellevue East High School 1998, and was a 12-sport athlete, participating in three sports each year of high school. He leaves behind a wife, Birgit, who lives in Bellevue. The couple does not have any children. The pair met in Germany and married 18 months ago after she moved to the United States.
Birgit Allen said she last spoke to her husband on Wednesday. She shared the words she heard from him.
"'Love you honey. Can't wait to see you again.' He was so looking forward to coming home," Birgit Allen said.
Big brother Nuru Allen said his brother was the same man, even after his experiences in the Army.
"I hear about people going to Iraq and then they change. Well, he never changed. He was the same Calvin from the beginning to the end," Nuru Allen said.
The death brings mixed opinions from family members about the war in Iraq. Birgit said she opposes having U.S. troops overseas, saying it's clear we're not wanted there. Sallie Allen said she doesn't have any negative feelings, because her son was serving his country and doing what he set out to do.
The family is waiting to talk with military
officials before planning funeral services
The family of a Bellevue soldier killed last week in Iraq said a memorial service is planned for this weekend.
Lonnie Calvin Allen Jr. died when a roadside bomb exploded near him.
Allen will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His family plans a memorial service in Bellevue,
but plans are not yet finalized.
Burial for Bellevue soldier Tuesday at Arlington National
29 May 2006
BELLEVUE, Nebraska — Army Ssergant. Lonnie Calvin Allen Jr., eulogized at a memorial service as an inspiration to all who knew him, will be buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Allen, 26, died with three other soldiers May 18 in Iraq after his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.
Some 500 family and friends mourned Allen at a Sunday service at Capehart Chapel.
Bill Eckley called him a man of honor.
"He was a gentleman, and honest, the amount of integrity that he had is beyond anything that you would ever imagine," Eckley said. "He went to work one day and gave all that he had, and I'm proud of him and I miss him already."
Allen had been serving in Iraq since August with the 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y. He was a 1998 graduate of Bellevue East High School, where he participated in basketball, football, track and wrestling.
"Saying Calvin was a good kid is like saying the sky is blue," said Justin Kral, another friend.
Eckley said Allen sent him an e-mail before he died, congratulating Eckley on his wife's pregnancy.
"He told me that when my son would grow up, he would teach him how to play basketball," Eckley said. "I told him that would be good, if he knew how to play basketball."
James Tate, a family friend who served in the Army from 1982 to 1989, said not everyone will understand for what cause Allen died.
"But some of us have walked in this young man's shoes. We were lucky enough to come home," Tate said.
Rev. Herman Brown of Mount Carmel Baptist Church said Allen's life should be honored.
"Calvin is gone. He left tremendous memories. We're going to cherish and live with them," Brown said.
Allen's wife, Birgit, said she would cherish her memories of her husband and their short time together. They met when Allen was stationed in Germany.
"We didn't have that many common interests
. . . But it didn't matter, because we loved each other. And that's all
that mattered. It meant so much to be together," she said.
Posted: 24 May 2006 Updated: 29 May 2006 Updated: 10 June 2006 Updated: 17 July 2006 Updated: 16 March 2010
Photo Courtesy of Eileen Horan, March 2010
Photo Courtesy of Holly, July 2006
Photo Courtesy of Roxsanne Wells-Layton, 10 June 2006