A decade after he was wounded in the 2009 search for deserter Bowe Bergdahl, a retired Army National Guard veteran has passed away.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Master Sgt. Mark Allen died Saturday. Allen suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was shot in the head during the 2009 mission to find Bergdahl, who left his military post in Afghanistan and was eventually captured by the Taliban.
"I'm heartbroken to let you all know that my husband passed away peacefully yesterday morning, with his family by his side," Allen's widow, Shannon, said Sunday on her Facebook page. "Over ten years ago, he sustained a severe head injury while serving In Afghanistan, which caused him lifelong health problems. These past few months, he has faced some significant illnesses, and his body was finally ready to rest."
According to his obituary, Allen — who reportedly died as the result of complications from the brain injury — served 21 years in the military and is survived by his wife and two children. Services will be held later this week in the Atlanta area.
After being held captive by the Taliban for years, Bowe Bergdahl was eventually returned to the United States in 2014 in exchange for five of the jihadist group's detained members OK'd by then-President Barack Obama.
Shannon Allen testified as a witness for the prosecution at Bergdahl's trial and told the court that getting her husband — who couldn't walk or communicate — ready every morning required her to use a pulley system, and could take up to an hour and a half. She also explained that his emotions were limited to smiling, laughing and crying and that his injuries had "taken away all the interaction" in their relationship.
At the trial, Allen's VA physician testified that the wounded non-commissioned officer was admitted in a vegetative state and that it took several months to get him to minimally functional.