Allen Dale Jackson describes himself as “not a hero, just a lad from Jonesborough, Tennessee.” However, this “lad” has a powerful story of serving our country and preserving history.
As a young man, attending David Crockett High School in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Allen enjoyed studying History and also took vocational classes in auto body and mechanics.
His dream about joining the United States Air Force began with a book report he prepared in third grade based on plans for his future. Years later, he watched the movie, Patton, and fell in love with the English Bull Terrier in the film. During this time, he started dating his future wife, Susan. Susan’s father was a World War II veteran who had fought in D-Day, and he informed Allen that to get an English Bull Terrier, he would need to be based in England. That desire influenced his decision to join the military and he enlisted in 1980, going active in 1981. He and Susan were married in 1981, adopted their first English Bull Terrier in 1985 while stationed in England, and returned to the States in 1987 with two English Bull Terriers.
While serving in the United States Air Force, Senior Master Sergeant Jackson’s primary assignment was in Security Forces, which provided protection for troops in combat. He spent four years with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment under the Queen’s flag, five years in Special Operations, and almost nine years in Black/Joint Operations as a Department of Defense Top Secret Courier. While serving in the Department of Defense, he spent five years as Station Chief in charge of all courier operations for Northern Europe, supporting the US, UK, NATO, and SHAPE out of Mildenhall, England. This vital role ensured the security and timely delivery of highly sensitive materials.
The various responsibilities with the United States Air Force have provided Mr. Jackson with opportunities to travel to over 100 countries/territories. When asked about his most memorable location, he responded … Bosnia. He was based in Sarajevo. It was such a beautiful country with a variety of landscapes. The countryside around Tuzla reminded him of the Appalachian Mountains of home.
During his twenty-six years of service, Mr. Jackson served in seven
campaigns/operations, including Panama (Operation Just Cause),
Bosnia (Operation Joint Guard & Operation Constant Guard), Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as Superintendent of Camp X-Ray (Operation Sea Signal) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for six months and in the Drug Wars of Central and South American and the Caribbean with Task Group 4.2 Forward for two years with his Combat Security Element.
Senior Master Sergeant Jackson holds two associate degrees from the Community College of the Air Force in Industrial Security and Education. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Senior Master Sergeant Jackson spent eight years working on recognition for Pvt. James Miller, a World War I Veteran from Jonesborough, who died in France on October 5, 1918. Mr. Miller was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in upstate New York for nearly ninety-seven years after being returned to the United States. By research through burial files, ancestry websites, Find A Grave, etc.
Mr. Jackson was able to locate the grave site and honor the veteran with a headstone to mark his final resting place. This is the fifth grave marker he has placed for Washington County war dead, thus ensuring they too are remembered.
After twenty-six years of service, Senior Master Sergeant Jackson retired in 2006. However, he stays busy by serving as Historian for the Johnson City/Washington County TN Veterans Memorial Foundation. He also serves as Historian/Researcher for the East TN Veterans Memorial Association; Historian for Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council; Director/Historian for Jonesborough Genealogical Society, Historian for American Legion “Kings Mountain” Post #24, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter #9 Washington County. Other activities include Davy Crockett Ruritan District (past Governor 2012 and 2013), and the Bull Terrier Club of America.
Allen Dale Jackson enjoys retired life in Jonesborough with his wife of thirty-seven years; Susan Jane Blair and their furry son, an English Bull Terrier named “Bossley.”