Soldier Dies 10 Years After Being Shot in the Head While Looking for Bowe Bergdahl

A folded flag at a memorial service.
(U.S. Air Force/Leah Ferrante)

This article by Jeff Schogol originally appeared on Task & Purpose, a digital news and culture publication dedicated to military and veterans issues.

Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.

Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.

He had been unable to walk or speak since he was a sniper shot him in the head in July 2009 while he was looking for Bergdahl, who had walked off his base in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years, the Walton Tribune reported.

At Bergdahl's trial, Allen's wife Shannon testified that it would take up to 90 minutes each morning to get her husband out of bed, showered, and dressed. She had to use a pulley system attached to the ceiling to move him.

His young daughter liked to climb into his wheelchair and sit on his lap, Shannon Allen said.

Bergdahl was reduced in rank for sergeant to private, ordered to forfeit $1,000 in pay for 10 months, and given a dishonorable discharge, but he did not serve any prison time.

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