MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – He’s had a lot of titles and many people probably know him as a Marshall County Magistrate, Zachary Allman said, other than Dad, his favorite title is veteran.
Service to me is just you know it’s more than a job. It’s my lifestyle.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
A lifestyle that truly started after Zachary Allman’s first semester of college. He saw the events of September 11, 2001 and felt compelled to join the West Virginia Army National Guard.
Allman went to basic and advanced training then returned to school for a semester before eventually to Iraq in 2003 as part of a the 157th Military Police Company from Moundsville.
Those are people that you would give your life for, that you would do anything for. It’s a level of shared suffering that you endure together that creates a bond that I can’t even really explain it. You almost just have to feel it or experience it yourself.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
Allman said conditions were brutal; extreme heat and no days off.
Anybody that says that they weren’t in a combat zone and they weren’t scared the first-time shots came over your head, or they’re shooting mortars at us in the middle of the night or something like that, you’re afraid.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
He worked in prisons, on convoy exports and with perimeter security.
MP doesn’t stand for military police. It stands for multi-purpose because the Army will just use you for whatever they need you to do.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
Allman recalls one evening after a skirmish, it finally settled in at just 19-years-old how much his life had changed in service to his country.
When it was over, I’m standing there under the flood light, I have blood on me, I remember thinking ‘a year ago tonight I was at the prom’.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
Some of Allman’s time was also spent building bonds with the Iraqi people. While the connection was critical for their military efforts, it also forever altered his life.
We both saw, knew what we were supposed to expect in the other. We were going there thinking ‘oh these Iraqi people they don’t want us there. They’re gonna try to hurt us.’ In reality is they were just decent people, hardworking people, God fearing people.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
After a year in Iraq, Allman and his company had a warm welcome back home in Marshall County.
He was still deployed stateside for several years until he left the National Guard in 2007 with the rank of Sergeant. During his service Allman earned the Combat Action Badge, Army Accommodation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.
That was always very fulfilling helping our local communities, and that’s the beauty of the National Guard. We can come out and we get to help right in our own communities, our own counties right here in West Virginia.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
After his service as Allman built his career he said he still heard the call to service.
Service is hard. It’s very hard. There’s a lot of bad times, bad feelings, but after all that hatred and depression and negativity and sometimes trauma that you experience there’s still a pull. There’s still this nagging pull in the back of your head like ‘you need to go back and do something’ you know ‘you didn’t do enough, you need to go back and do more’.Zachary Allman, West Virginia Army National Guard Veteran
Allman said that is what’s motivated him to pursue positions with the Sheriff’s Department, Prosecutor’s Office, and now as a Magistrate in Marshall County.