Citing his wife’s declining health, General Johan Allen has decided to retire from the Armed Forces.
President Obama announced on Tuesday that he has accepted a request from Marine General John Allen to retire from the US military. The Associated Press reports that the President said in a statement, “I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps.” Allen’s request comes only a month after the Pentagon cleared him of “conduct unbecoming an officer” in the Tampa Socialite Scandal that prompted the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.
Earlier this month Allen finished his 19-month stint as the “top commander” in Afghanistan, where he was in direct command of both US and allied forces. He was also nominated late last year by the White House to take over command of the NATO forces in Europe, but that nomination was put on hold after the investigation into his conduct was initiated. After Allen was cleared the White House made clear it’s intentions to move forward with the appointment, however at that time Allen requested more time to consider.. It is not clear yet who the White House will nominate in his place. In a written statement, General Allen explained that he is retiring to be with his wife who is struggling with significant health issues. He said,
The reasons for my decision are personal. I did not come to it lightly or quickly, but given the considerations behind it, I recognized in the end it was the only choice I could make.
While I won’t go into the details, my primary concern is for the health of my wife, who has sacrificed so much for so long. For more than 35 years, my beloved Kathy has devotedly stood beside me and enabled me to serve my country.
It is profoundly sobering to consider how much of that time I have spent away from her and our two precious daughters. It is now my turn to stand beside them, to be there for them when they need me most. While I won’t go into the details, my primary concern is for the health of my wife, who has sacrificed so much for so long.
Although Allen did not go into detail in his written statement, the Washington Post reports that His wife’s medical condition has been “steadily deteriorating” for the last several years, and there was a very real possibility that it would have been “problematic for her to receive the necessary medical authorization from the military,” to make the move to the NATO base in Belgium. Allen told the Post, “For a long time, I told her, ‘When you can’t bear this anymore, just tell me and I’ll drop my [resignation] letter right away,’ ” But after realizing the unfair pressure that placed on her, and after the scandal which Allen said “took a toll” on his wife he said, “Now I need to be the one who takes this out of her hands.”