- 22 years old
- Date of birth: Dec 24, 1974
- Date of passing: Aug 27, 1997
|Let the memory of LCpl Benjamin be with us forever|
Ben died on 8/27/1997. During a training maneuver on base at Camp
Pendleton CA. his LAV went down a 1400 ft mountainside.
Ben was born on 12/24/1974 in Columbus, Ohio and moved to TN with his
family in 1992.
Growing up his favorite sport was baseball. He remained an avid fan of
the Oakland A's, especially Rickey Henderson, until the day he died.
He Lettered in baseball and wrestling in High School. Ben started a
new school in TN his senior year. He chose not to play sports and
instead to help coach the newly formed wrestling team along with the
Head Coach.- Ben was very creative and had a love for movies. His
livelong dream was to attend Film School upon graduation. However
during his senior year he developed a stronger calling to serve his
country and laid his dream to the side. He officially joined the
Marines on 9/27/1994, becoming a third generation Marine.- I can
remember so vividly Ben calling me and saying he had signed up for
infantry and Recon. When I asked him why he said "Mom if I am going to
serve my country I do not want to be behind a desk. I intend to be the
first of the first in, if needed." He was so incredibly proud to be
serving his country.- What I remember most about my son was his deep
seated compassion for others, his great sense of humor, and his faith
in God and his country. From a very young age on Ben would always
stand up for the under-dog, even if it meant getting into trouble
himself. He was unable to be silent if he witnessed bullying or
ridiculing of another human being. His passion in life was to place a
smile on your face. He would obtain this by telling a joke,
entertaining you or just simple acts of kindness.- Of all the
heartfelt moments experiencing his love of
giving, one is forever branded in my mind...
One Christmas at the age of 16 Ben was short on cash. When it came his
turn to pass
out gifts he rose and said, "I want all of you to stand and form a
line oldest to youngest." He then proceeded down the line. Each of
us were hugged and told, "Merry Christmas I love you." His sad eyes
misted with the wish of his heart. Though not having a gift to hand
us he chose, "The Thought That Counted." Ben had chosen, the gift of
With tears streaming down my checks I remember looking at my
precious son and saying, "That is the best Christmas present anyone
could ever receive."
Upon meeting you Ben would rather hug than to shake your hand.-
Many stories were shared from dozens of his fellow Marine
comrades:-Ben had a little grill on the catwalk of his barracks. He
would buy food and invite any who wanted to come for a cook-out. Many
said that if they missed mess call they could always knock on
Gearheart's door for leftovers.- He had an extensive collection of
movies and had set up an honorary system for any Marine to borrow
them. He continued to add to this collection whether or not it was a
movie he wished to see in hopes that others might.- He organized
baseball and card games on base for all to join, on their free time.-
Once, in a very remote lava training field in Hawaii, all of them were
very bored while awaiting their orders. Ben created a game from the
rocks, similar to the game Janga. At first it was just Ben and a few
other Marines. From what I was told it turned into 300 marines for as
far as you could see laughing and playing this game.-All described Ben
as one who lived his life to the fullest, who would, and had, given
his last dollar to help those in need.- The sweet, sweet memories of
my precious son lives on in my heart.
All Medals Received
Armed Forces Expeditionary- National defense
All Awards Received
Overseas Deployment- Golden Shellback
"Still looking forward to that day when we join Ben in Heaven. That will be a great day of rejoicing."
"What a wonderful tribute. I am sorry I never met my cousin but I will meet him someday in Heaven."
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