Gen. John Allen to Retire, Skip NATO Post Leaving to nurse wife through serious health issues By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Feb 19, 2013 12:33 PM CST 10 comments Comments In this file photo, Marine Gen. John Allen speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. President Obama says he has accepted Allen's request to retire from military. (Haraz N. Ghanbari) (Newser) – President Obama says he has accepted Marine Gen. John Allen's request to retire from the US military, meaning the White House won't go forward with Allen's nomination to lead US and NATO forces in Europe. “I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps,” said Obama. Allen said last night that he's leaving to help wife Kathy cope with serious health issues, notes the Washington Post. “Right now, I’ve just got to get her well,” Allen said. “It’s time to take care of my family.” Allen recently left a 19-month command in Afghanistan and was nominated last fall to become the US military's top soldier in Europe. But that nomination was shelved during a Pentagon investigation into emails Allen exchanged with a civilian woman who was linked to the scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus to resign. Allen since has been cleared of wrongdoing, but “the investigation took a toll on her," he said of his wife.