Parade to honor local fallen soldier
Keeping the memory alive.
That is the purpose of this year’s Parade of Heroes motorcycle ride during the Rally on the River.
Organized by the American Legion Post 433, the ride of veterans will be in honor of Sgt. Justin Bradley Allen.
Allen, of Coal Grove, was killed July 18, 2010, during a combat mission in Afghanistan during his fourth deployment as an Army Ranger. The 23-year-old was a team leader assigned to Company D 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment.
Allen’s older brother, Brian, wants to keep the memory of his brother alive, as well as others who died in the line of duty.
“We want other people who have lost loved ones in conflict to participate,” Brian said.
During the parade, Brian said those who would like to participate are encouraged to have a photo of their loved one displayed on their motorcycle.
The ride will be Aug. 18 and begin at Ironton Hills. Riders are asked to line up before departure at 5:15 p.m. The parade will travel through Ironton and back to the main rally area in downtown.
American Legion Post 433 Commander Frank Murphy said a full military tribute would follow on the main rally stage.
The Allen family has also set up a scholarship in Justin’s honor for a senior at Dawson-Bryant High School. Each year the family hopes to donate $500 to one student, but would like to raise enough money to ensure the scholarship can be funded for years to come.
Brian Allen said the scholarship is also a way for the family, as well as the community, to remember Justin.
“We are just so proud of him,” Brian Allen said. “We think about him everyday.”
Thanks to the support of local business and individuals, the Allen family will have donation boxes set up throughout the city to collect money for the scholarship.
Jim Hacker from Ironton City Hardware gave the family a discount on supplies to build the boxes and Ironton resident Steve Moore offered to build them, Brian Allen said.
Locations for donation boxes will be Carey’s Tires, VFW Post 8850, Frogtown, Peddlers, Murphy’s Bar and Grill, The End Zone, the Ro-Na, Charlie’s Tires, Buffalo Wild Wings, The Laid Back and Boomers.
Donations may also be made to the Sgt. Justin Bradley Allen Memorial Scholarship Fund through PNC Bank.
Also during the rally, veterans will be honored with the Ohio Flags of Honor traveling display.
The opening ceremony for the display will be 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at Ironton Hills.
The display came to Ironton last year for the first time. Murphy said he expects a good turnout for the ceremony.
“This is the first year the Flags of Honor have returned to the same location two years in a row,” Murphy said.
The memorial travels all over the state and displays 10-foot tall flags of honor with the name of each military man and woman written on it who has died in the Iraq War, and hundreds more tribute flags that are sponsored by families, individuals, businesses and veterans organizations.