The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Amazing Transformation

Allen Clark: I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord

By Tim Smith
The 700 Club Allen Clark was a man with a dream. Growing up, he wanted to graduate from West Point. In 1963, his dream came true. But Allen’s dream soon turned into a nightmare, and his nightmare had a name, Vietnam.

"All my classmates were going from West Point. Some of them had been killed already. I volunteered for Vietnam without telling my wife and got assigned to special forces covert operations June 17th, 1967," he says.

Allen’s first day with special forces was a day he’d never forget.

"Mortar hit right behind me. I just remember when I fell, it was like a baseball bat went across the top of my back. I yelled out, 'Oh God, I ’m dead. My legs, my legs.' That’s what people told me I said."

"I was on my stomach, and I felt like I needed to protect my head. So I was looking for a little drainage ditch right there above the concrete area. So I started crawling to get my head down. And then I remember they put me on a litter, and they started me down the bunker at a curve. So I remember pushing off with my elbows, which I could still move okay. I was pushing off with my elbows trying to help them get me down and another blast hit about seven feet away."

A medic took care of Allen in an underground bunker.

"I said to the medic, 'Don’t bother treating me.' I said, 'I think I ’ve had it. Treat the others.' You know, he [medic] said, 'No captain, i’m going to take care of you. You’re going to be okay.' ”

Allen lost his left leg that day, and ten days later, his right leg was amputated.

"I got back to Brook General Hospital in San Antonio very quickly. My wife and mother-in-law were able to come immediately. I started the first eight months of just kinda getting my legs ready, you know ... bone grafts, skin grafts, getting the stumps ready to accept a prosthetic device and the artificial legs."

Physically, Allen recovered well, but emotionally and psychologically, he really struggled.

"I began to get scared about my life. Okay, I’m going to get my legs, I’m going to walk again. What am I going to do with my life? I’ve always wanted to be a soldier. I can’t be a soldier anymore and you know, I was scared," he thought.

In February of 1968, Allen had a nervous breakdown while he was in the hospital. He was admitted to the psychiatric ward for 14 weeks. Allen was at the lowest point of his life.

"I was scared, I was anxious, I was fearful. Even though Jesus was Savior, He was not Lord. I didn’t know about the power of prayer," says Allen.

After six years of psychotherapy and antidepressants, Allen was at a crossroads in his life. He was 31 years old when he made a life changing decision – to make Jesus Christ the Lord of his life. He was at church in 1973…

"I had been a warrior for my country, and I realized in that service that day that I’d never been a warrior for the Lord. And I had never really gotten into the Lord’s world for Jesus to be Lord of my life and understand prayer and the power that Jesus can bring into our lives."

Looking back at that terrible day in Vietnam, Allen is now able to put things in perspective.

"I can’t blame my God. My God put it in my heart to be a soldier and serve my country. My God put it in my heart to fulfill my duty. I can’t blame Him for something that He put in my heart that I ’m proud of having done. You know, people say, 'I don’t want to be in those valleys of life.' Sure, we don’t want to be in them, but when we get out of them, we have to look back and say, 'Wow, what did I learn back there and how has that made me stronger?' ”

After Vietnam, Allen worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 15 years.

"I began to accept that I had a responsibility and an opportunity to get into the healing ministry with my fellow vets and to pray with them at the hospital and to pray with them and to get with them and try to teach them the things that helped me in my healing process. I had to try to help them."

Allen has also been very successful in both business and politics. But his latest adventure, and the one that he’s most proud of, is his “Combat Faith Ministry."

"I try to identify what really is the compounding issue for them beginning with the war and then talk about what would resolve that, and then pray with them about that issue," he says.

When asked what he’d like to say to today’s soldiers returning from war, Allen was at no loss for words.

"Never dispute what you did for your country and for the cause of freedom and for other people in the world. Always be proud being a person that’s served your country. I don’t have my legs and so I can’t look back and say, 'I wish I had them.' The fact is I get along as well as I can without them. I’ve gone on and, you know, with Jesus as the center of my life, I’m doing the best I can to try to – to be a man of God and to do the things I’m supposed to do. But I’m a proud soldier. And I did what I wanted to do. I can’t be sad or regretful for what I did to serve my country."

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