Allen Family
Deryn “lives in the heart of America.” But when she gets home she puts on her dad's legs, the same way she has since she was eight years old.
Allen Family
Deryn “lives in the heart of America.” But when she gets home she puts on her dad's legs, the same way she has since she was eight years old.

Allen Family

McMinnville, Tennessee

Deryn “lives in the heart of America.” But when she gets home she puts on her dad's legs, the same way she has since she was eight years old.

Heart of America

Although double-amputee Chaz may look different from other dads, his daughters Deryn and Ryann wouldn’t have him any other way. “To me, he’s not different, because I like him like this. I feel like he’s a lot funnier,” daughter Ryann says. The Allens have become each other’s biggest supporters, and their caregiving of each other have brought the family closer together. “I get called ‘the mom’ a lot,” daughter Deryn says. “I’m always with him, making sure everything is good.”

Positivity Despite Pain

While serving as an Army Staff Sergeant in Afghanistan, Chaz stepped on a 40-pound bomb, losing both his legs and requiring fused arm. Despite it all, Chaz always keeps a positive outlook on life. “I don’t want to get stuck and feel ‘woe is me’. No, I can’t do that. I got to be the motivator in the house,” Chaz says.

Seeing the Unseen

Inspired by her experience as a caregiver and army wife, Jessica wrote a guide about financial fitness for military caregivers and families to help others who share her experiences. “A lot of times, people see the veterans,” Jessica says, “But they don’t see who else is affected by the veteran’s wounds. “Despite the challenges of caregiving, Jessica says, “It’s not my responsibility. I feel like it’s my honor.”