MINNEAPOLIS — A North Carolina-based Marine killed in Iraq this week was remembered as an outgoing young man who enlisted to "save his family from harm" the day after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Sgt. Chad M. Allen, 25, died Wednesday when a bomb exploded during combat operations in Anbar province, the Department of Defense and his family said Thursday. Allen was on his second deployment in Iraq and was scheduled to leave the Marine Corps on May 1, his father said.
Allen was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
"He was awesome, he was the coolest kid," said his mother, Deborah Allen, of Danbury, Wis. "He was very happy, very outgoing, never could sit still for a minute."
His father, Steve Allen, also of Danbury, said his son was a "very well loved young man."
Allen enlisted in the Marines the day after the Sept. 11 attacks but didn't go in until 2003, his mother said.
"He was going to save his family from harm," she said.
Chad Allen trained as a light armored vehicle crewman before joining the LAR Battalion, according to the Marines.
His parents said he volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq to take the place of an injured fellow Marine. Steve Allen said his son told him Sunday that he had been promoted to sergeant.
Chad Allen, the second oldest of four children, grew up in Maple Lake and graduated from high school there. He worked for a car wash and a landscape company before joining the Marines.
He loved to fish and ride his motorcycle and was homecoming king in high school, his mother said.