Send-off for a soldier
Jan 13, 2013 (Jacksonville Journal-Courier - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Several friends and family gathered Saturday afternoon to show their support for Spc. Nathan Allen.
He deploys to Afghanistan at the end of the month.
Though he lives in Warsaw with his father, his mother, Pam Allen, lives in Winchester and his grandmother lives in Woodson.
Pam Allen organized an informal get-together with the help of Lisa Tweedy and Tiffany Jennings. The Woodson American Legion donated its building at 301 E. Main St. because Nathan Allen is a soldier; members also gave him a journal to write in while he's away.
About 25 friends and family gathered at noon Saturday to thank Nathan Allen or simply say hello. It was an informal gathering, with chips and dip, cake, cheesecake and tea and soda.
"As his mother, I'm very proud of him for what he's doing and what he's done in all the training," Pam Allen said. "It'll be sad to see him go, but it's for a good reason. He wants to go to support his country."
She intends to spend as much quality time as possible with her son in the weeks before his deployment.
"Having family that supports you is everything," Nathan Allen said.
Saturday's outpouring from the community meant a lot to him, he said.
After 3 1/2 years training in the Army, this will be his first time deployed.
"I'm ready to go," he said. "I'm ready to help out. It's what I signed up for and I feel like I'm helping somebody else out."
He serves in the Iowa National Guard's 833rd Engineer Company and will be helping with Operation Enduring Freedom while he is deployed.
For the safety of his unit, he wasn't able to share many details about it or his deployment, except to say that he leaves at the end of this month.
"A lot of people in the world aren't as lucky as we are," he said. "A lot of people don't understand and take for granted everything. I feel like I'm making a difference in someone else's life."
___ (c)2013 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) Visit the
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