Let the memory of SGT 1st Class Benjamin be with us forever
  • 34 years old
  • Born on August 30, 1977 .
  • Passed away on January 15, 2012 .

34, of Little Rock, Ark.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash; died Jan. 15 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of injuries sustained Jan. 9 in Balkh province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

Ark. family loses second son in Afghanistan

By Tim Talley, Associated Press

The war in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of two sons of an Arkansas couple who also have a third son in the military.

Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Wise, 34, of Little Rock, was on his fourth deployment overseas when he was injured during an insurgent attack on his unit last week. He died from his wounds Sunday at hospital in Germany, the Department of Defense said in a statement Tuesday.

His brother, 35-year-old Jeremy Wise, was killed in a terrorist attack on a CIA outpost in Afghanistan in December 2009. He was a former Navy Seal working as a security contractor.

Their brother, Marine Corps Cpl. Matthew Wise, is based Hawaii but was in Germany to be with his brother, his wife Amber said. She said she was at Benjamin's home in Washington state watching his children, but she declined further comment.

The Army Ranger is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

The men's parents, Dr. Jean and Mary Wise of Hope, AR. The family released a statement thanking friends and Benjamin's fellow soldiers "for their sincere expressions of sympathy during this very difficult time."

His family described him as a loving husband, devoted father, caring son and selfless soldier.

"The Wise family is sincerely touched by the concern and interest all have taken in Ben's life, his career and his sacrifice for our country," they said in the statement. "Ben was proud of the career he built in the Army."

He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

Benjamin Wise, who entered military service in 2000, discussed his work as a soldier in a September 2004 interview with the Hope Star newspaper.

"It's something I've wanted to do for a while now," he told the newspaper. "I was incollege and I took a break from college and thought I'd do it now while I was relatively young. I wanted to serve my country, and do something that I found exciting."

Wise compared his work as a soldier to a job, noting that "there are a lot of frustrating things about being over there, about being with people from another culture and the special circumstances.

"But, at the end of the day, it's a job and we're specialists in the field. The troops are sent there to accomplish a mission," he said.

Members of Arkansas' congressional delegation released statements of condolence and described Benjamin Wise as a hero.

"His bravery, dedication and patriotism exemplified what it means to be an American soldier and I am eternally grateful for his selfless sacrifice," said Democratic Rep. Mike Ross. Republican Rep. Tim Griffin added: "He dedicated his life to serving in defense of our country and has earned the deepest respect of a grateful nation."

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said Wise served in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

"While Arkansas has lost a great patriot, the Wise family has paid an extraordinary price in service to our country," Pryor said.

Flags to fly at half-staff to honor Ark. soldier

The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Flags will fly at half-staff to honor an Arkansas soldier who died this month after he was wounded in Afghanistan.

Gov. Mike Beebe has ordered both state and U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff Friday to remember Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Wise.

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