Hero’s Final Homecoming

Private First Class Pierre E. Allen was laid to rest with full military honors Sunday afternoon at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Allen, a legal clerk with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 37th Engineers Battalion (Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade, died attempting to rescue swimmers caught in a riptide Saturday, May 24, in waters off Panama Beach, Fla. The U.S. Army funeral detail consisted of 16 members of Allen’s unit from Ft. Bragg, N. C. Here the pallbearer detail marches to the graveside. PFC Allen

Speaking during the internment service Sunday afternoon for PFC Pierre E. Allen were (from left) Rev. Phillip Brackett, Officiator, Rev. Sammy Townes, and Rev. Kevin Lee.

Colonel Gary Loxley, Staff Judge Advocate General for the 18th Airborne Corps, presents the American flag to Steve Allen, father of Private First Class Pierre E. Allen during graveside services Sunday at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Allen was a legal specialist serving under the command of Col. Loxley.

The service began with just a few sprinkles, but ended in a downpour. More than 1.25 inches of rain fell in the area during the afternoon.

Pierre Allen

    “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends.”

                                                                                                   – John 15: 12-14  

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Private First Class Pierre Emmanuel Allen of Ft. Bragg, NC, age 21, with the United States Army, Headquarters Company, 37th Engineers Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, died Saturday, May 24, 2008 in an attempt to rescue swimmers who were in distress in the waters off of Panama Beach, FL.      “Private First Class Allen’s actions exemplified the Warrior Ethos” stated Capt. John Bacon, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “Dedicated to both the military and his family, he continually sought ways to develop himself as a model soldier while demonstrating a healthy balance in his personal life as a devoted husband and father.  PFC Allen had a significant impact on the many lives he came in contact with and will be sadly missed.”

    Allen is remembered locally as an outstanding student and athlete.  In addition to Beta Club and many academic awards, Allen was a member of the first place State 4 x 4 track team and winner of the state 300-meter run.  He was selected as a Jr. Olympics (Hawaii) team member and traveled with a Memphis track team in the summer after graduating from Water Valley High School in 2005.  Allen attended Mississippi State University on a track scholarship before joining the US Army in 2006 and becoming a legal specialist. PFC Allen was a member of Everdale M. B. Church of Water Valley.

    Services were held Sunday, June 1, at 3 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home.  Full military honors followed  at Oak Ridge Cemetery immediately following the service.  Military personnel served as pallbearers.  Special friends of PFC Pierre Allen are Justin Thomas, Antonio Crowder, Derek Croy, Scott Stewart, Kevin West, Steven McCartt and Fallon Love.

    Allen is survived by his wife, LaRhonda Allen; one daughter, Alexandrea Allen; two step-daughters, Simone White and LaQuaysha Rockette; and one step-son, Jerimyah Neely, all of Ft. Bragg, NC; six sisters, Stephanie Allen and Jasmine Allen, both of Water Valley, MS; Darlene Turner-Miller of Lancaster, CA, Juante’ Lunsford of Palmdale, CA, Donnisha Butler-Turner of Atlanta, GA, and Chelsie Allen of Buena Vista, Virginia; his father, Steve Allen and his wife Dale, of Water Valley, MS; and his step-mother, Tracy Allen of Water Valley.

    Pierre Allen was preceded in death by his mother, Sheila Turner, in 1991.

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