My name is Jennee Allan. My husband is a CW3 and is currently deployed for a year, will be back June 2010. He has been active duty army since January 2002 and we have lived in 7 states. He went in as a helicopter pilot, flew for a few years, deployed to Iraq, and came home struggling with PTSD. It was triggered mostly when he flew his helicopter so he had to resign from that. His heart can do nothing more than serve this country and so he changed MOS to flying UAS's. Which he is now doing in Taji Iraq.
We have 4 beautiful Children and I am pregnant with our 5th, due October 2nd.We are both from Utah. After we had out first child we decided to move to New York. Michael worked in Manhattan when the twin towers went down. That morning he had been on the phone doing business with a few people that ended up losing their lives. It just made him stronger in his conviction to Join the Army. We moved to Alabama(Fort Rucker), North Carolina(Fort Bragg), Tennessee(Fort Campbell), Arizona(Fort Hauchuca), and a place in Victorville, California for UAS training.Some of the challenges that I have faced have been the obvious; single parenthood, fear for my husbands safety, moving and changing states/ homes. etc.However, the one that I want to focus on in is something not so obvious.
I remember feeling this last time he was deployed but not to the extent that I feel it now.I have a flame burning inside me and it seems to get bigger. I have a strong desire to help people understand (those that don't, of course) the depth of what is done for them. I have selfless and selfish reasons for wanting to do this.What I mean by "What is done for them" is first, the selfless sacrifice that each soldier gives to this country by getting deployed, and second the family members left behind.The living conditions of the soldiers is not comfortable by any means. They live with Hot 145 degree weather, some live in tents on cots, other on bunk beds in a slightly air conditioned building, if they are lucky. They eat MRE's, stay in their hot uniform, even when they are off, witness deaths and awful things that the natural eye cannot comprehend, and I think hardest of all live alone while the ones they love are back at home.
Because my husband struggled with PTSD, I have a new perspective of what is sacrificed for the country as I lost a part of my husband that will never come back, because of the affects of war.So, what I have been doing is trying to rally others to help give back, even just a little for what is done for them. I ask people to send my husband and the other soldiers packages, I ask for discounts where I go, I try to be honest about my husbands living conditions with those that ask. But I truly feel I am not doing enough to help people understand the depth of the sacrifice. I feel Joy when I see receptive hearts and minds. I feel a duty, for my husband and other sacrificing soldiers to fight my own war over here of helping a clueless population truly understand. Of course I know that as humans, we don't usually understand things that are not tangible. But when I have reached a heart, my Joy is extreme. But again, I am still left with the burning flame inside me and want to know even more of how I can help educate others and they in turn will sacrifice as well, for our country.
When someone serves me, like mows my lawn, offers child care, gives a discount at the store, sends my husband a package, listens to me heartily explain the living conditions, says thank you to me or my husband, etc. It makes me so happy and it helps me to feel that I want to continue with this sacrifice. However, most people do not do all those things. Most people just live their lives unaware of what is done. That it makes me feel angry, I don't feel proud of.I hope I have explained what is in my heart and I also seek for answers of ways to quench the flame. I trust it is their for a reason and that others who have this flame might find me and we can educate, lovingly together.
Sincerely, Jennee Allan
**Reminder--I am donating a portion of my proceeds from book sales 6/1/09-8/31/09 to ASMBA STAR--a top notch Veteran's charity**
Jenee and Mike - you are great inspiration to us all. Thanks for all you do!
Jennee that is an awesome story. I didn't realize that Mike struggled with PTSD. Your family is in our prayers while he is once again in Iraq.
YEAH for Michael and Jennee....we love you guys and it is a rough road for all of us military families!
Jenee, What an inspiring story. It touched my heart and made me cry. You know that if there is anything we can help with you can count on us. I am so glad to be keeping in thouch. You must know that Doug holds Michael very dear to his heart. I would love to join you in educating people who do not understand what we Army families live through. Please count on my support.
Jennee--Thank you for all you and Mike have sacrificed for us. You are a great example to us all of love and courage.
Thank you for the story Jenee. I can not fathom how hard it would be on you both and the kids to have him gone over seas for so long. Reading your story made me think of the my sister, father and grandfather who all spent time over seas for various wars and that maybe i should be more understanding of what they went though.
What a great story and what an awesome family! You guys are the amazing. I hope this deployment goes by quickly!
I love you Mike and Jennee and kids. You guys are the best! I can't imagine how hard this is for your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for working so hard to preserve my freedom!
Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest! You and your family will be in our prayers
Jennee...it looks like you and Mike have an awesome support system! Outstanding!
We love you!!! thanks for all you have done and continue to do...
You guys are awesome. Thanks for everything you do.
I can't imagine how hard it would be to send my husband off to war, let alone doing so while pregnant. Jennee & Mike, you are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for serving our country, and for protecting our freedom. We love you.
The effects of war are truly terrible for everyone involved. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing to light some of the things that most people try to pretend don't exist. You are truly an inspiration!
Jenee, your submission is so well written. I also feel the need to help people understand what the military and their families sacrifice for their country. I love it when I see people thank a solider, help out the family members and offer words to encourage. Good luck on winning!
Kowanda (I'm a semi-finalist, too!)
This is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your example. You and your husband truly are inspiring.
Your words and courage are inspiring to me ... another military wife in this contest. Thank you!
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