GIRARD, KS, USA U.S. Marines CPL, HMLA-169, MAG-39, 3D MAW, CAMP PENDLETON, CA AL TAQADDUM, IRAQ 05/30/2006
Marine Corporal Richard A. Bennett of Girard, Kan., was a deeply spiritual family man who loved his job as a helicopter mechanic.
Bennett, 25, was killed May 27, 2006 when his Cobra helicopter crashed into the Al Habbaniyah Lake, about 30 miles west of Baghdad.
Bennett was a man who loved motorcycles, cars and helicopters. It was no surprise to those that knew him when he decided to enlist in the Marines to become a helicopter mechanic. Anytime he needed to think about something, he would jump on and ride his Harley, said longtime friend Kevin Huber. He just loved having the wind in his hair.
Bennett, a former Boy Scout and National Honor Society scholar, graduated from Pittsburg State University, in Pittsburg Kan., with a degree in auto mechanics in 2002. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in May 2004 and deployed to Iraq in 2006 with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 16th Marine Air Group.
I was impressed with his confidence and demeanor during his going-away party, said his high school librarian, Mary Jane Dent. He really wanted to serve his country.
He is survived by his parents, Larry and Marilyn, and fiancée Janine Cracchiolo.
Bennett’s dog, one of his best friends, was laid to rest beside him. The dog died the day before Bennett’s accident.