Front Toward Enemy, by Barbara Allen

 Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

The author succinctly organizes the living nightmare that followed her husband and close friend’s murders while they served in Iraq – killed by a man set free.  Years of legal process failed, despite a signed but suppressed guilty plea from the accused staff sergeant who placed the claymore in the two officers’ window.  Lou and Barbara Allen’s four boys were six and under when he shipped out.  Ten days later, he was dead.  How outrageous the lack of justice.  Barbara Allen’s shattered life must have been almost impossible to capture in print and her burden even more impossible to bear.  What an honorable report of perseverance in the face of utter decimation.         

Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2012)


Author's Synopsis

Autobiographical accounting of my experience as a survivor of Lt Louis Allen,
killed in Iraq by a fellow soldier. The personal and factual aspects of his
life and murder, the individual tried and acquitted in a botched military
court martial, and the ripple effects of the trauma on myself and my family.

From Book Jacket:

A sandstorm obscured what light lingered in Iraq’s nighttime sky as Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez tied a claymore mine to a window grate. On the other side of the window sat Lt. Louis Allen, a husband and father of four young boys, and his good friend and Commanding Officer Captain Phillip Esposito, a West Point graduate and father of a baby girl. The men were engaged in a board game, unwinding after a hard day, when without warning the window exploded; 700 steel ball bearings erupted from the mine and hurtled inward with lethal force, obliterating everything in their kill zone.
Martinez was arrested and tried for the murders. But the military judicial
system failed, and the killer was set free.

How can American soldiers be at risk on their own base, among their fellow
soldiers? Could these murders have been prevented? Will it happen again? How can the military’s judicial system have failed so drastically, and what was the government hiding from the slain soldiers’ families?

Front Toward Enemy is a personal and factual account behind the scenes of a
case that is to the military judicial system what the O.J. Simpson case is to the civilian judicial system.