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My Brother: All Armed Forces

Volleyball is my family’s…thing. Growing up, our lives revolved around club practices, high school games, and Sundays at the beach. To this day every conversation my father has steers its way to volleyball and how I finished at the last AVP Event. You can’t mention another sport without its flaws being pointed out in defense of volleyball’s superiority.

In 2004 at the age of twenty my youngest brother left volleyball. He joined the Army. Bryan has now served seven years in the Army, stationed in Florida, Kansas, Georgia, and Baghdad. While stationed in Florida he met his wife Susan. They have since spent more time apart than together.

Over the last three months Bryan has been on a special assignment. He has been playing volleyball. He trained for a month in North Carolina with the Army Volleyball Team before competing in a tournament against the other branches of the Military.

“I hadn’t touched the ball in a while,” Bryan said about jumping back into playing shape. “The first day of practice was terrible, I hadn’t played volleyball in forever. Halfway through the camp, once we started scrimmaging everybody, I slowly started moving up through the ranks.”

He may not have looked very good at first but as a 6’3” setter, it quickly came back to him as he earned a spot on the All Armed Forces Team, following in Danny Kinda’s footsteps.

“I showed the guys the videos, for a week after everything they said in practice related to the videos, Gators, Take it to Spiketown, Show the Snap…It made practices a lot of fun.”

Bryan Allen, All Armed Forces

Bryan Allen, All Armed Forces

The All Armed Forces Team won their division at Nationals this weekend and Bryan was named Tournament MVP. Talking to him he has definitely caught the volleyball bug again. He plans on using his status in the reserves next year to try out for the beach team this time, to represent the U.S. in The CISM Tournament (The World Military Championships). The tournament will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bryan hopes to, “’Find a partner for the beach team and focus on beach.”

“Every country sends their military team there. Unfortunately for us the other teams have a national military, some players from their national team. They can say anybody’s in the military, we can’t. We have to enlist.”

Now that the tournament has finished Bryan heads back to Kansas to stay “Military Ready,” training for a deployment he will never go on as his term is up in November. For a couple months, however, my brother was able to play volleyball for a living.

My parents ditched work and made the road trip to Arizona to watch him play a few days then rushed back to California to watch me compete in the Huntington Open. It was a good volleyball weekend for the Allens.

COMMENTS

  • Name says:

    Wheels, We didn’t ditch work, well maybe I did, but your mother was on vacation. I don’t steer every conversation over to volleyball. I eat alot so I listen while I’m chewing. We did have a great volleyball week, it was tough choosing where to be. We’re still stoked from the Kern trip.

  • Stephen Jennings says:

    Well if you don’t steer every conversation towards volleyball than I will!!! Unless the initial conversation is about world hunger. Kinda hard to to pull that conversation towards volleyball… “We could feed them volleyballs!- No, wait, that wouldn’t work. Maybe if they played a lot of volleyball they would forget they were hungry! Yeah, that’s better.”

  • Name says:

    Billy and Bryan your Aunt Cathy is very proud of you both!!

  • The Harmening Cousins says:

    Looks as thought the Allens are on their way to creating a superhuman generation that threatens to take over volleyball as we know it.

  • Name says:

    TO THE ALLEN FAMILY ,GOD HAS BROUGHT VOLLEYBALL INTO YOUR LIVES AND WITH HIS LOVE AND VOLLEYBALL AND FOOD YOU WILL STAY UNITED AS A LOVING FAMILY. AUNT TERRY IS PROUD OF BRYAN AND BILLY FOR A GREATWEEKEND OF GOOD VOLLEBALL WINS.

  • Name says:

    Grandma (Slim) Allen is pretty proud of the “Volleyball Allens”, too. It sure is a different game than the one I taught 7th and 8th grade girls a hundred years ago!! (okay, so it was only 40 or 50 years ago)…..just seems like 100.

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