PLYMOUTH, NE, USA U.S. Army SPC, DETACHMENT 1, 308TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, LINCOLN NE AD DIWANIYAH, IRAQ 06/09/2006
Benjamin Slaven’s family has a long history of military service, and his father said his son knew the risks of going to Iraq. Bruce Slaven says Benjamin was enthusiastic about working on the front line of the war on terror as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.
Mr. Slaven explained that he and Benjamin’s mother, Judy Huenink, had both served in the Air Force. Benjamin’s sister, PFC Misty Slaven, is training to be a medical lab technician and is based at Fort Bliss, KY. A grandfather and uncle also served.
Benjamin chose to go into the Army, and I supported his decision 150 percent, Bruce Slaven said. We were talking once, and he said he was looking forward to going to Iraq if his unit was called up. I told him if he wants to go to Iraq, ‘Saddle up and let’s rock.’ Obviously, I’m proud that he did what he did and served his country and did the mission he was asked to do.
Prior to joining the Reserves 17 months ago, Benjamin Slaven earned his GED and worked at a lawn mower factory, Exmark Manufacturing in Beatrice. His parents said he was generous and caring.
Slaven was always giving, and he didn’t expect anything back, Judy Huenink said. He’d give a person his last $20 even if that meant he had to go without something else. He wanted to do his part, Huenink said. He wanted to defend his country.
Slaven enjoyed video games, scuba diving, motorcycles, working on cars and fishing, family members said. He was considering a career in underwater welding after the military, Huenink said. He would make any mother proud.
Judy Huenink related a story of how Benjamin liked to help other people. One recent Christmas, he showed up on the doorstep of a local family and handed over his paycheck to them so they would have money to buy presents for their children.
He also is survived by his father and stepmother, Bruce and Julie Slaven, and stepfather Nick Huenink.