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Soldier Shot in Search for Bergdahl Dies 10 Years Later

Master Sgt. Mark Allen never recovered from injury
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2019 4:10 AM CDT
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves the Fort Bragg courtroom facility as the judge deliberates during a sentencing hearing at Fort Bragg, NC, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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(Newser) – A soldier shot in the head while searching for Bowe Bergdahl a decade ago has died. Master Sgt. Mark Allen was left paralyzed in much of his body and unable to speak after he was shot during a 2009 insurgent ambush in Afghanistan, CNN reports. The 46-year-old from Loganville, Ga., was among several soldiers wounded in the search for Bergdahl, who was captured by insurgents after walking away from his base. At Bergdahl's sentencing hearing in 2017, Allen's wife, Shannon, testified that the father of two needed nursing care 24 hours a day and had undergone 20 surgeries. "He can laugh, smile, cry," she said. "That is the extent of the communication." She said her husband was always "happy-go-lucky" before he was wounded.

"I'm heartbroken to let you all know that my husband passed away peacefully yesterday morning with his family by his side," Shannon Allen said in a Facebook post Sunday. "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." Allen, who spent 21 years in the Army and the Army National Guard, retired after receiving a Purple Heart in 2013, the AP reports. Bergdahl, who was held captive by militants for five years, was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge for desertion but avoided prison time. (Read more Bowe Bergdahl stories.)

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