We protect the privacy and dignity of the veterans that we assist in conjunction with local county Veteran Service Agencies, WestCop, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s Veteran and Military Advocate Staff, and many other local charitable organizations. Most of our referrals come from the resources listed above, but also come from word of mouth, veteran to veteran, and community members helping veterans to find the assistance they rightly deserve.
Our group and mission were founded on the grassroots efforts of several strangers, who met in a shared desire to assist the widow and sons of 1st Lt. Louis Allen. His death has not been in vain and we will continue to assist as many veterans in our local area as we can, through the support of generous donors and concerned citizens.
Otisville — Barbara Allen’s effort to secure Purple Heart honors for the 2005 death of her husband, 1st Lt. Louis Allen, hinged on a military panel’s conviction of his alleged killer, she said.
The acquittal of Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez, the man charged with killing Allen, as well as his commanding officer, Capt. Phil Esposito, has complicated that effort but not ended it, she said.
The Allen family is continuing its fight to get Lou Allen a Purple Heart, even as the military tries to put the controversial case behind it, and America tries to bring the Iraq War, which started six years ago Friday, closer to an end.
Allen and Esposito were both serving with the New York Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division when they were killed by a Claymore mine detonated just outside the room they were in at a forward operating base in Iraq. Martinez was charged with the killings in an act called fragging, or the murder of a direct superior by a soldier during war.
bilde-1Barbara Allen, along with Laurene Sandstrom, Lou Allen’s sister, have started letter-writing campaigns on the Internet to get the military to consider an exception for the two soldiers in granting the Purple Heart. Military guidelines state that the distinction can be offered only to soldiers wounded or killed while fighting a hostile enemy.
A Facebook site started by Barbara Allen has drawn nearly 4,000 members in just three months. Meaghan Smith, a spokeswoman for Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, said the congressman is making a case to the Pentagon that the men deserve the medal because other soldiers have received the distinction after being killed or wounded by friendly fire.
Had Martinez been convicted, Barbara Allen planned to ask the military to label him an “enemy” combatant.”What greater ‘enemy’ could we have than one of our own soldiers infiltrating the ranks?” she said.