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Army Sgt. Justin B. Allen

Died July 18, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Coal Grove, Ohio; assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; died July 18 in Zhari, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot by insurgents while conducting combat operations.

Ranger killed on his fourth Afghanistan deployment

The Associated Press

Justin Allen was a high school football player and track star who was drawn to the elite Army Rangers because of the physical challenge of becoming a member.

“He always played Army as a little boy, he always liked being outside,” said his sister, Jennifer Dickerson.

He enlisted the year following his 2005 graduation from Dawson-Bryant High School in Coal Grove, Ohio.

His friends remember how he loved his cowboy boots, his country, his job. And how he loved his fiancee, Kimberly Schwartz. They were to be married Nov. 20 after Allen returned from his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

But Allen, 23, was fatally shot in a combat fight July 18 in Zhari, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

“Justin’s life and service embodies the Ranger Creed,” Lt. Col. James Mulholland said.

Dickerson, 45, always considered Allen more of a son than a little brother. She wants people to recall that there was a purpose to his service.

“I’d like them to remember that he defended their freedom and he gave his all — the ultimate sacrifice.”

Allen also is survived by his parents, Roger and Bonnie Allen, and a brother, Brian Allen.

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