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NEWS | Sept. 18, 2023

Army Reserve medic inspired by grandfathers' WWII service

By Spc. Aliyah Vivier 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Some people join the Army for the benefits, some for the experience. For U.S. Army Cpl. John Allen, assigned to the 444th Medical Company Ground Ambulance, 424th Medical Battalion, 338th Medical Brigade, 3rd Division Deployment Support, U.S. Army Reserve, based in West Virginia, he wanted to follow in his grandfathers’ footsteps.

“It's just something I was always interested in doing. Prior to that, my grandfather and great grandfather both served in World War Two. My great grandfather was actually a survivor of the USS Bunker Hill. So when it was bombed, he was luckily on deck and was able to jump off.”

Allen has served with the Army Reserve as a combat medic for 12 years and is currently his unit’s Army Reserve Ambassador. He has also worked his civilian job as a dialysis technician for 7 years. He spends his time volunteering in this community with the ambulance and fire department.

Allen participated in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care refresher course at the Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC) here, Sept. 16, 2023. He believes the instructors at the MSTC were well-prepared and used the most up-to-date information during the course of their training. He also found the hand-on component of the training to be very valuable.

“Another thing I like about this training versus other training is being able to actually stick each other with needles,” said Allen. "We wouldn't be able to do what these other trainings do because they don't have the resources or the providers available. We couldn't practice our IV skills, which for obvious reasons, is a big flaw when it comes to training as a medic. So it's definitely much more hands-on training.”

Allen also thought the training was a worthwhile way to practice his medical skills, seeing as they are perishable if underutilized for extended periods of time. It is also important to keep up with skills since the way that each person experiences medical conditions is different.

"Nothing is technically normal,” said Allen. “If you don't practice them, you will lose them and won't get better. Just keep practicing.”