ROBBINSVILLE, NJ, US
U. S. Army
SPC, 693D ENG CO (SAPPER), 7TH EN BN, 10TH SUS BDE, FORT DRUM, NY
01/12/2011, GELAN, GHAZNI, AFGHANISTAN
From Ben’s mom Amy:
A little about Ben. He was born on October 2, 1987. He struggled in school due to his very poor vision, we didn’t know growing up if he would ever be able to drive. But as the years progressed so did his vision. We raised Ben and Patrick in a small town called Bordentown. Ben was a busy body and knew all the city workers, fireman and police. He would follow them around and make friends with everyone.
When he turned 13, the world trade towers came under attack on 9-11 and that rocked Ben’s world. That is when he made the decision to join the firehouse. He had to wait a year to become a Junior Volunteer but the day he turned 14 we were there signing on the dotted line.
When he turned 16 he could take Firefighter 1 course. I would take him 3 nights a week to the training center after high school for 6 months. He had both fireman homework and high school homework and he successfully completed both. After graduating high school he attended EMT school and completed that. When the economy went bad he couldn’t get a full time position and he was volunteering more than he was getting paid for at the firehouse. That is when he decided to go into the Army. He was a combat engineer and graduated boot camp in Missouri, Ft Leonard Wood. He was assigned to:
693rd Sapper Unit, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
Benjamin always had a big sense of community and volunteering. Driving on the ambulance in our hometown allowed him to help his community. He helped mothers give birth, and their babies take their first breath and he also helped the elderly in taking their last breaths.
We never knew what a great kid he was until we heard about all the wonderful life saving stories after his death. He has been honored by even the young kids in our community and has become an inspiration for many young kids.
Benjamin has an older brother Patrick who was his best friend and Ben was Patrick’s best friend. Patrick lost his brother and his best friend in the same day. Ben was going to be Patricks best man in his wedding July 8, 2011 so that is going to be a difficult time. On Jan 10, 2011 Benjamin wrote his speech and toast for the wedding and he died 2 days later. Ben lived for 23 years but made the most of it and did more than most people who have lived 80 years. He was very popular and loved by many.