Barb Allen’s 42nd birthday fell on a steamy September day. It was so hot, the pavement burned her when she fell to her knees- but she was so broken and in so much pain already that she didn’t even notice.
It was her tenth birthday since her husband, Lt Louis Allen, and his friend Captain Phillip Esposito were murdered by a fellow soldier in Iraq. The trauma and struggles attached to losing her husband, raising their four boys without him, being immersed in the military’s capital court-martial process, and watching the military set her husband’s killer free 3 ½ years after the murders had been far stronger than her resilience. For ten years she’d blundered her way through life, pulling her kids up with her on her highs, and down in her lows.
On that birthday, she’d just hung up on her ex-fiance’s collect call from rehab. He hadn’t called to apologize for years of trauma and emotional abuse, for taking all her money and leaving her at risk of losing her home or even to wish her a Happy Birthday. Instead, he’d called with more demands and insults.
Barb was broken when she dropped to her knees and prayed. But she felt warmth and grace surrounding her at that moment, filling her with strength and certainty that she was about to turn her life around. She was a different woman when she got back to her feet.
It was only then, as she snapped out of her own fog and began paying attention to the world again, that she realized the divisiveness building in the country her husband died in service of. As she grew stronger, so did her concern for her country, as well as her drive to help restore patriotism.
It wasn’t until she met Dave Brown, and they fell in love, that Barb discovered how to bring her message and insight to others.
Dave had just reached a point in his own life, where he’d begin to rebuild. His divorce had sent him into his own hard years as he learned how to raise his two kids in his new life. Never particularly patriotic or dialed into what being an American truly meant, Dave only fully appreciated our country’s history and uniqueness when he fell in love with Barb. A successful entrepreneur who’d built his own real estate investment company and a national network with it, Dave knew exactly how to start working with Barb to become a driving force in American patriotism.
Together they launched a podcast, American Snippets. Today they have evolved into the Great American Syndicate. Barb has published three books, been featured in others, and ghostwritten for clients. Dave has grown his real estate company while working tirelessly on the technical and marketing side of the Great American Syndicate.
The podcast is now Flex Your Freedom, where Barb has interviewed hundreds of extraordinary American leaders, heroes, philanthropists, resilient people with incredible stories of strength, and others with the same kind of insight that helped her turn her own life around.
Now, with their partner Anthony Russo, they have grown the Great American Syndicate into a national community for patriotic Americans driven by a sense of purpose, and an annual live event called the Great American Summit.