KIA June 8, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to Army National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Infantry Division, Troy, New York
Army 1LT Louis “Lou” Allen died June 8, 2005, of injuries sustained the previous day when an improvised explosive device, intentionally planted by a disgruntled subordinate of 1LT Allen, detonated outside his base office window in Tikrit, Iraq. Also killed was CPT Phillip T. Esposito. The perpetrator of the attack, SSG Alberto B. Martinez, was subsequently charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of 1LT Allen and CPT Esposito.
In conjunction with their motto ‘Never Forget’, the 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division Soldiers will never forget their fallen comrades. The division mourned 1LT Allen and CPT Esposito with a ceremony a little over a week after they were killed in the explosion. Esposito was commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 42nd Infantry Division, and 1LT Allen was the company operations officer.
CPT Steven Raiser, who trained with Allen to prepare for the Iraq deployment, said that he got to know Allen very quickly. “I learned a lot of Soldier skills from him … how to lead troops and run a convoy,” Raiser said, “He confirmed all our training. There’s some people you meet that you connect with … Al’ was one of those people.” Lou was a devoted husband and father, and made sure to call his wife daily without fail. He carried a photo of his four boys in his wallet and would proudly display it to anyone who would look. At the memorial ceremony, MAJ Roltsch remembered 1LT Allen and CPT Esposito: “Both had the desire, the passion, and the calling to be leaders. Both died doing what they loved doing, leading and serving Soldiers. No matter what you do or how you process this loss, remember that Louis Allen and Phillip Esposito were Rainbow warriors and that makes them our brothers. Today we suffer as one body, because that’s what we are. Today we honor as one body because that’s what they deserve.”
1LT Louis Allen was 34 years old from Chester, New York
Original portrait was presented January 22, 2010 to Lou’s wife, Barbara, children and extended family during a special event held at George F. Baker Tuxedo High School in Tuxedo, NY