George Allen Alford, Jr.
Cpl. George Allen Alford, Jr. was born on March 7,1948, in Alvin, Texas, to George Allen and Jo Alford. He had two younger sisters, Brenda and Lesa. The family moved to Meridian, Texas, where he and his younger sisters grew up in a country environment. In Meridian, Allen was very active in Church and in school. He and his family belonged to the First Baptist Church where Allen was active in various groups such as Sunday school and the Royal Ambassadors, which is a bible study group for the youth. He was also baptized in that church. Allen, (fondly nick named “Butch”), was active in sports and was in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and he played baseball on various little league teams. Football was one of his favorite sports and he played football in both junior high and high school. Allen was multi-talented and he played lineman and was a guard on the varsity football team lettering each year that he played and he also excelled in music playing trumpet in the high school band. He was in the Stage Band in high school that was made up of some of the best band members. Additionally, Allen was also a member of the high school FFA (Future Farmers of America). Growing up in a small Texas hill country town also meant that there were a lot of horse shows and rodeos. Allen was a very good cowboy and he participated in the Bosque County 4H Riding Club, which was a drill team on horses that performed at many rodeos across Texas. He rode bulls in youth rodeos and won a belt buckle for it. Being a true Texan, Allen was also an avid hunter. He loved to hunt deer, dove, quail, ducks, rabbits, or whatever was in season and he was exceptional with either a rifle or shotgun, always coming home with a bag full of game. In another vein, Allen was a soft touch for older towns folk and there were many times that he would do yard work for the elderly in his hometown just to be kind to them.
In 1966 the Alford family moved back to Alvin, Texas. This was during the Vietnam War and the draft. Allen decided he did not want to head off to college and instead, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1966 at the age of only 18. Allen’s father had been in the Navy during World War II and he told Allen not to join the Marines because he had seen too many Marines die in the Pacific. In 1967 Allen was part of the Marine Detachment on the USS Galveston. He served as the Captain’s Orderly from August through November, 1967 and he was on board the Galveston during the Israeli Crisis of 1967. Allen volunteered five times to leave the ship for duty in Vietnam before the Marine Corps agreed to send him because he was the only male in the family to carry on the family name. Allen felt it was his duty to join the fight in Vietnam as he said that was what he was trained for and he felt guilty being on a ship. Allen then joined the 3rd Platoon, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. He served as a squad leader at the young age of 20. He participated in operations against communist aggression in Vietnam and he was involved in Operation Houston III on 30 June 1968, in Operation Houston IV and in Operation Mameluke Thrust II in Quang Nam Province near An Hoa. It was on this last operation that he was killed on 31 July 1968. At the time of his death, Allen had only been in Vietnam for a month.
In his short twenty years of life Allen made a difference. He did not just take up space on this earth. The “Dash” between his birth and death years were years well spent. He loved God, his family, and his Country enough to die for them.