Alumnus and Retired U.S. Army Soldier Promotes Message of Peace in New Children’s Book

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Coren Jonathan Allen ’12 M.S., a retired U.S. Army soldier and founder of the Kambimbi Academy, recently published a children’s book, What if it Just Started Raining? 

The storytelling in What if it Just started Raining? is thoughtfully crafted to deliver a humanitarian message. In a conversation between a father and his son, the reader uncovers a series of powerful principles that can bring peace to humanity. This peace-building message is intended for both children and adults. 

The decision to write this book came when Coren “began to see conditioned hatreds and contempt for ‘the other’ as a root cause common to many conflicts,” he says. 

With 26 years of experience and travels as a U.S Army soldier, Coren has gained a breadth of knowledge that has provided him with a unique life mission: to celebrate human equality by bringing a message of enduring hope to humanity, as noted on his website.

Coren’s inspiration to deliver this lesson specifically through a children’s book came from Dr. Seuss’ books and Aesop’s Fables. These stories “are really messages for adults; we read them to children in hopes they will remember the lessons when they grow up,” Coren says. 

The cover art of What if it Just Started Raining?

Coren has plans to further this message of peace, already developing designs for several additional books, one of which is a sequel to What if it Just Started Raining?, called What if there was no ‘Other’?. He is writing the sequel with Saeed Alsuwaidi, his academic colleague and a peace builder from the United Arab Emirates. The two hope to release the book in 2020.

Before Coren became an author, he enjoyed a varied and successful career path.  

As a combat helicopter (UH-60 Blackhawk) pilot, he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Coren Allen in Iraq
Coren Allen ’12 M.S. with his flight crew in Iraq.

“In 2011, while attending an Army logistics school at Fort Lee, Virginia, I knew that I needed to prepare for upcoming assignments that would potentially take me to distressed corners of the planet.”

It was then that he decided to enroll at Florida Tech.

“Florida Tech presented the perfect partnership opportunity with the Army and offered a disaster relief logistics M.S. track that paired seamlessly with my future career aspirations,” Coren says. “It was an easy decision and I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity!”

Coren describes his time at Florida Tech as a “perfect prelude for consecutive assignments” throughout the challenging enirvoments of Asia, Europe and Africa.

On one of his most notable assignments, Coren served more than four years throughout 10 countries in Africa.

“Most of this time was spent as a theater logistics planner, working military exercises for more than 10,000 soldiers and civilians from the U.S. and partner nations,” he says. “I was also mobilized to play a strategic planning role as a member of the theater opening team for Operation United Assistance (OUA).”

OUA was a vital component of the international humanitarian response to the Ebola virus disease crisis in Liberia, West Africa.

“My experience and learning at Florida Tech provided a critical academic foundation that generated a significant performance edge for everything the Army asked of me.”

You can learn more about Coren on his website or purchase his book What if it Just Started Raining? on Amazon.

Learn more about the Logistics Management – Humanitarian and Disaster Relief program here.

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