LOGANVILLE GA — A retired soldier from the Atlanta area has died, 10 years after he was severely wounded in Afghanistan while searching for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, according to reports. Former Master Sgt. Mark Allen, 46, was shot in his head by a sniper while on foot patrol and required three years of care at a Florida military hospital, according to the Walton Tribune.
He was left unable to walk or talk and needed 24-hour care. His wife, Shannon, testified in court that it took up to 90 minutes to get him out of bed, showered and clothed in the morning. She used a pulley system to move him, she said, according to a Task and Purpose report.
Allen is survived by his wife; a son, Cody; and a daughter, Journey, his obituary says. They will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Tim Stewart Funeral Home in Loganville. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church of Snellville, with a burial to follow.
He spent 21 years in the Army, retiring in 2013, the Walton Tribune reported, with a Purple Heart among many other awards and decorations.
Bergdahl was subject to heavy criticism for leaving his post, which caused his fellow soldiers to go out looking for him, leading to Allen’s injuries. He was captured by the Taliban.
The United States traded five Taliban members who were being held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for Bergdahl’s return. The decision to trade prisoners for a prisoner was also subject to criticism.
Desertion, to which Bergdahl pleaded guilty, carries a penalty up to the death penalty if committed during wartime, according to the Cornell Law School. Bergdahl was dishonorably discharged from the Army, but avoided jail time.
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