When my nephew, Allen Beach was a little boy living in Washington state while his dad was in the Navy and out on a seven month cruise, my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Alena Stevens and her daughter, Lacey, Allyn Hadlock, and I went to visit our sister, Caryl Reed, who is Allen’s mom. That put Allen being the only boy in a crowd of women. For a boy of 3½ years, I’m sure that was overwhelming. All those bosses. Nevertheless, I think Allen had a good time.
I was thinking as Allen’s birthday approached, that no one had any idea where his life would take him. It’s not surprising that Allen followed in his dad’s footsteps, joining the Navy after graduating from high school, but truly, from there on out, it was unexpected. He had wanted to be train as a member of a flight crew for the navy, but small fracture of his foot caused him to have to give up that dream. While that was disappointing, Allen chose to go into the medical field, as a corpsman. The Navy can’t wait for six weeks to complete the training. That isn’t a totally unexpected thought either, because his mom, my sister, Caryl was a respiratory therapist. So, Allen trained to be a corpsman, and ended up serving in some pretty cool positions. He was a corpsman in Bethesda, Maryland at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as part of the medical detail to the President of the United States, and then he was stationed in Japan, where he met his sweet future wife, Gaby, who was also a corpsman, and is now a nurse. On a wonderful trip to Bali, Allen proposed to Gaby, and when she accepted, he knew his life was complete.
Allen and Gaby returned to Walter Reed Military Medical Center to finish their time in the Navy, and then began their college educations. Gaby still had time left in the Navy, so Allen started first, and after finishing his studies and obtaining his degree in Hospital Administration, they decided to move to Casper, Wyoming where Allen has family, so Gaby could start college in the nursing program. Allen was hired by Wyoming Medical Center as the department manager over the Referral and Communications Departments. Later he also became department manager over the EMS Department. Who would have ever guessed that the little 3½ year old boy running around his parents home in Washington State would have gone on to do the great things he has. It just goes to show that you never know what a child might choose to become, and sometimes their life experiences can play a part in shaping their future, even if it is having a fractured foot. Sometimes, the things we thought we wanted, turn out not to be the best for our future…while another path becomes by far the best move. Today is Allen’s birthday. Happy birthday Allen!! Have a great day!! We love you!!