Duty, honor, country – A veteran’s story

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Douglas McArthur once said, “Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” 

Originally called Armistice Day, the origin of what is now Veterans Day hearkens back to the first anniversary of the end of World War I, Nov.11, 1919. Today the national holiday recognizes both living and deceased soldiers who served honorably in wartime or in times of peace. 

Many native Crenshaw Countians have served their country selflessly, including Allen Adcock, an E4 specialist with the U.S. Army. Adcock, whose primary role is that of a radio operator, embodies the spirit of a good soldier, a soldier who wears any hat necessary to get the job done. 

A 2015 graduate of Crenshaw Christian Academy, Adcock’s path to military service was a lifelong dream. For him, joining the Army was not just a choice, but a calling that provided him with opportunities and experiences he otherwise might never have had.

“Joining the Army offered me a path in life that has created a sense of purpose and direction and provided me with much-needed discipline, shaping me into a person I’m proud of,” Adcock said. “I never thought a good ol’ boy like me would get out and see the world like I have.”

Adcock, who said he grew up in a lower-middle-class family, is very thankful for his upbringing and what he had available to him growing up. He has witnessed many children in other countries struggling and has seen much poverty. Adcock is proud to contribute to ensuring America remains a safe and well-protected land of opportunity. 

Adcock’s military journey began with training at Fort Benning for 14 weeks followed by 13 weeks at Fort Gordon. He was then immediately sent to Japan. For an 18-year-old, this was a culture shock, a sudden immersion into a world vastly different from his small-town Alabama upbringing.

His journey with the military has taken him to places far and wide, including deployments to Japan, Korea and Africa, where he played a pivotal role in peacekeeping and counter-piracy operations while working with various specialized units. 

 “Arriving in Japan for my first overseas tour was a culture shock for someone who’s not been exposed to things like that,” Adcock said. “I think those of us who enlisted at the age of 18 committed to something far larger than a teenager can comprehend but when I got to Japan, I realized that I had taken a huge step that would forever change my life in what has proven to be the very best way.”

Adcock’s two-year deployment in Korea, in which his wife and son were with him, showcased the challenges faced by military families who must adapt to new environments and overcome the stress associated with being away from home. Yet, Adcock remains committed to serving his country and the values he holds dear. 

Adcock believes that joining the military is very much worth every challenge and hardship. 

“The army has provided me with opportunities to further my education and can be a great avenue for someone who wants to go to college but doesn’t have the means necessary,” Adcock said. “It’s not an easy or free ride, but it is a journey worth taking. You will pay for every positive you get out of the military with blood, sweat and tears. However, I promise it will be worth it.”

Adcock emphasized the profound sense of camaraderie and priceless, irreplaceable brotherhood that can only be obtained by being in the military. The relationships forged in the crucible of shared experiences create a strong support system that sustains service members through the toughest of times.

“No matter what you go through, you never go through it alone when you are in the service,” he said. “There are many moving parts when it comes to our military and to keeping our country safe and strong. The priceless friendships that you form along the way and the people you meet that help see you through are part of the big package deal that keeps our nation in check.”