Master Sgt. Mark Allen dies: Soldier was left disabled after being shot in head by sniper while searching for deserter in Afghanistan
The 46-year-old had been rendered severely and permanently disabled after he was shot in the head by a sniper during his search for the fellow soldier Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen passed away on Saturday last week, a decade after he was shot in Afghanistan trying to search for a missing soldier in 2009. The cause of death has not been revealed.
The 46-year-old had been rendered severely and permanently disabled after he was shot in the head by a sniper during his search for fellow soldier Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban from 2009 to 2014 and tortured after deserting his post. The accounts of his capture differ and were highly scrutinized.
He was released as part of a prisoner exchange for five Taliban members who were being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. At least six soldiers of his battalion are said to have died during the search. They searched for him for 19 days.
During his search for Bergdahl, a sniper shot Allen and he was unable to walk or speak after that. He spent three years in medical care and when he got back home, he needed round-the-clock care. Allen served in the army and the Army National Guard for 21 years and received a Purple Heart for his services and retired in 2013, according to the Walton Tribune.
Bergdahl was tried by a general court-martial in 2017 and was dishonorably discharged and was demoted to private and had to pay a fine of $10,000. During the trial, Allen's wife Shannon testified on the condition of her husband. Confined to a wheelchair Allen's brain injury had taken a toll on his family as well. He couldn't eat and received food through a feeding tube. She also said they were unable to have children after the injury. They have two children, a daughter named Journey and a son named Cody. Journey was 13 months old when her father was shot.
Admitted in a vegetative state to a hospital in Florida, he took approximately 7 months to be minimally functional. Allen's brain injury affected his frontal and temporal lobes and after they were removed to save him he was unable to speak and did not recall daily activities. He had to go through approximately 20 surgeries. "He is present, makes eye contact," she told the court during the trial at Fort Braggs, "He can laugh, smile, cry. That is the extent of the communication."
During the testimony, Bergdahl called his actions a "horrible mistake". Allen's funeral is scheduled for Friday. The U.S Veterans Network thanked him for his service saying in a Facebook post, "We'll take it from here".