NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A benefit dinner and auction were held on Sunday for an injured Fort Campbell soldier who recently returned home from months of therapy and surgeries.
Sgt. Charles “Chaz” Allen lost both of his legs in an explosion while serving in overseas earlier this year. Since the accident he has received two prosthetic legs and undergone treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical.
“I think I did a back flip, maybe I didn't, it felt like I did a back flip I landed on my legs about where my knees were my chest I was awake the whole time I was screaming for the medic one of my team leaders pulled me down on the ground and immediately started putting tourniquets on my legs,” recalled Allen.
On Sunday, hundreds attended a benefit organized by two Valentino's and Bella Napoli.
Jason Connor is the general manager at Valentino's. He told Nashville's News 2 he has been preparing the event for three months.
“He is the reason we have our freedom,” Connor said, adding, “Just the smile on his face was worth it. That's what we are doing it for.”
The restaurant manager is a former soldier himself and said he felt led to organize the event for the Allen family.
“He inspires me more than I've ever inspired myself or done anything in my life he is most courageous man I've ever met and I told him if I'm half the man that he is then I'll be successful in my own life,” Connor explained.
Allen told Nashville's News 2 he is grateful for the warm homecoming he has received since returning home on Saturday.
“I love them. You come up to me and shake my hand, [and] I love you. It's a great feeling,” he said.
All of the money raised at Sunday's events will go directly to Allen and his family.
Donations to the family can still be made at the Heritage Bank located at 3845 Trenton Road in Clarksville.
The soldier is scheduled to return to Washington DC on Monday to continue treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical.
- June 4, 2011: Surprise welcome home ceremony held for injured soldier
- June 2, 2011: Benefit to honor local soldier critically injured in Iraq