Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Sgt. Benjamin L. Gilman

28, of Meriden, Connecticut.
Gilman died west of Ghazni, Afghanistan, when a weapons cache prematurely exploded. He was assigned to 41st Engineer Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. Died on January 29, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Benjamin L. Gilman.


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"hi. ben I wish I got to know you, my dad still struggles with your passing and so do I,i went to the marine museum one day and I looked at the record of deaths that they had counted and I immediately thought of you,there is so much that I want to tell you, but most of all you made a huge sacrifice and you are too brave, when I grow up I wanna be like you.by the way I am mike Brouillettes son.patrick Brouillette m and you died a very honorable death, what I know is that you are selfless and everything in between.your a very honorable person, and I hope I get to meet you in heaven one day.and I have wondered about you I have been doing some reading trying to get to know you without you being here."
patrick marcin brouillette of oregon,holly

"Hi Ben,

Just wanted you and your family to know I think of you often but especially on days like Memorial Day! You were a kind and gentle soul who was taken from this world too soon. I miss your smile and sparkling personality, always willing to lend a hand to anyone, you will always be remembered. Your former boss from Roy Rogers but mostly "YOUR FRIEND" Jim."
Jim Lynch of Milford, CT

"Thinking of you on Memorial Day. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice."
Jamie Scurlock of Reserve, Louisiana

He used to tell me he wanted to marry me when he grew Up!!"
KDay-Vincent of Wallingford CT

"I used to babysit Benji when I was 15/16 and he was abt 7. I lived next door to him and his mom Edith. May you R.I.P. You are missed. Ty for naking the ultimate sacrifice!!!"
Kimberly Day-Vincent of Wallingford CT

"11 years ago today was one of the worse days of my life I think about you everyday I miss and love you forever"

"Hi Ben. Woke up today and had you on my mind. I know your in a better place but really wish you were still here with us. When you come to mind, all i can think about is us having fun growing up and playing basketball. I miss playing on the court with you ,miguel , Pedro, and Danny. We all would try to play like our favorite NBA players. Fun times we had. I thank God for the good times we had and I'll will always carry you in my heart no matter how many years pass by. I pray to see you again in Heaven one day. May your family be blessed and thanks again for your friendship."
Hector Perez of Meriden Ct

"I miss you Ben met you for a few days but I felt like we were brothers love you bro"
james of westfiled,new jersey

"It's been years since the website I built honoring Ben has been active. I tried to revive it, but to no avail. I fear all those comments from loved ones are lost.

Still, to this day, I can't see a war flick and not think of Ben, his smiling face, solid handshake and kind words to a total stranger at a party thrown by his big sister all those years ago.

Ben, You're in our thoughts and prayers, now and always. As is your family.

Just wish I had a chance to get to know you better. You seemed like a guy's guy. Someone who made your mother proud."
of CT


"Want you to know you are not forgotten. I can't live a day of my life without you buddy."
Matt of Washington

"Hi Ben...I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in heaven....i hope you had a wonderful time...there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think of you...i miss you so much and wish you were here all the time.....i know you are as my puppy Saphira barks at nothing so i know its you she is seeing. The chair creeks when i am watching tv upstairs by the computer when its real quiet so i know your here all the time. I love the feeling of your presence in the house. I went to Jeans...and Bridgets for Christmas and it was alot of fun and of course Mary's on New Years....I made rice and beans for everyone plus you of course. Anyway i wanted to wish you Happy Holidays and can't wait to see you one day. Love and miss you so much with all my love to you Mom AKA Pita

If anyone would like to contact me my address is 18 Allen Ct. B-2
Meriden CT 06451"
Edith Gilman (MOM) of Meriden CT

"To Ben,
It's been a couple of years now and can't get over the fact your not here anymore. You were and will forever be in my memory. I think about the times we used to get together and play nintendo at your house. Your mom was like a mom to me and I appreciate your frienship for life.We went to school together,played basketball,and played video games and collect alot of sports cards. You ended up going to the service but I never forgot you. It was nice seeing you years later back home when I got together with your mom and surprised you. I remember the joy of having you back home but knew your were going back. Thank you Ben for everything you did for this country and I know that we will see each other in heaven one day. RIP Brother."
Hector Perez of CT

"My dearest Ben,
Today is all saints day, and i know your watching over us. You are the best man ive probably ever known. I felt you with me strongly the past three days, and although ill never get over your death, im getting closure now. I often think of what may have been, but that drives me nuts. love you always, sorry i dont have all my thoughts put in the right words, you know what i mean. i wanted you to come back from the war with me, but god has his will and i will never understand it, but it is what it is. May you R.I.P. forever and try to convince GOD to let me into heaven. (had to try to laugh a little)"
Jamie Scurlock of Reserve Louisiana

"I miss you so much I thought it would get easier through the years but its not I miss your smile our talks I miss everything about you xoxo"
of Ct

"In our hearts and minds. We miss that smile bro. Found inner peace finally. Still stumble over you sometimes. Thanks for watching over us man. U r a hero
MikeyB Norwich ct"
MikeyB of Ct


I have been thinking about you alot lately. I miss you and your big smile so much. I know you watch over me and my family, and I will never forget when you came to me in a dream and kissed me on my forhead...you didnt speak, but I knew you were telling me that you were in a better place. There is so much I want to say to you on here, but I know you already know it all. I miss you, but I know our souls are connected, and always will be.

Love you,"
of Watertown, Ny

"Got through another year. I wanted you to know you are not forgotten."
Matt of Texas

"Ben , R.I.P my friend and thank you for serving our country . You are thought of often and missed dearly ."
Regina Anne of Wallingford Ct

My ben,

I watch this often, and it absolutely reminds me of how little time we actually spent, considering hust how young you were. i mae 27 today, but i just miss you. No one compares to you. I know God only takes the best. you are the best man i've ever known. I still dont understand his will, but i was so screwed up out there ben, you were my protector, and one day, well 30 days i thought you'd be back, and then i heard. i also heard there were three funerals for you. one at our base in Bagram, and another at Kandahar, and another in Connectiut. Alot of times i feel like, i can forgive God for taking you but i wasnt allowed at your funerals because we werent' married, and that tortured me. its not fair, we only knew each other since nov 02 and dated maybe 2 months before you left me. I cried for 2 months straight. I was committed to an asylum in germany... and i just have never been the same. i was too young, 18 then, im almost as old as you were. I finally got my stuff together. i've retired nicely two years ago, and my home is paid for. someone donated me a 3 BR @ bath trailer for me and my two children. Halfway through the remodeling, the lord blessed us with 16,000.00 and i paid my sons tuition upfront. he's in prek3, haden, and my baby girl is 16 months, jaci. Sometimes i look up and i apologize to you for the mess i've made of my life. i feel like i know you wanted a better life for me.And i talk to you, like i talk to god. but i dont' know if you can hear me like he can. i dont know how to stop mourning, i will feel guilty if i do. i nver got the closure, like im sure many attended your funeral...while a part of me died along with you. and sometimes i dream about what it would be like if the rest of me made it to you. youre the only person close to me that has ever been taken away so suddenly. i love and miss you, and believe our hearts are still connected. i remember you confiding in me that you listen to heavy metal, and then britney spears before you go to sleep, while ur headphones stayed on yor ears all night long. :( 9/30/2011"
Jamie Scurlock of reserve, la

"Hey Ben,

I Miss you Cuz. I think about you so often, and read, and re-read the letters that you sent me. I treasure them above most anything else I have. I only wish I could have sent you more. I love you always. Happy Independence Day. Thank you for always being you, and thank you for still always being you in my heart! Rest well my dear cousin. Love Forever,"
Bonnie Gilman-Johnson of Crystal River, FL

"to Ben's mother,
I know he told you about me, and i know he was excited to be with me there. we made each other's time there brighter, and much more pleasant. I waited and waited for him to come back to the base, and i could not believe, i thought they were joking with me. A bad joke, indeed. i compare everyone new to ben, and no one compares at all, now single mother of 2. i loved ben, and still do, and i just would love to see a picture of him again."
jamie scurlock of reserve, la

"My Ben,
I have looked for something like this for years! Someone help me, maybe Bens mother!! I was his girlfriend in Afghanistan when he passed away. He told me he told you about me, it was Christmas time. We spent a lot of time together there before he passed away.
Ben, I love you and think of you often. I'd love a picture if anyone has any, i dont' have even one.
You're a real hero Ben, and I miss you so.
jamie scurlock of reserve, la

"Dearest Ben,
Thinking of you and missing you very much on your birthday today...I wish we could go out and celebrate. I hate not being able to call you and talk about just anything. I miss waiting for letters from you in the mail. I just wish I had one more chance to tell you so many things. Happy Birthday to the VERY BEST friend I ever had! I love you and miss you so much! XOXOXOXOXOXOX

Tara Spinner of Hamilton, NJ

"I cant believe your gone. I think of you often. you are a hero!!!"
rebecca of meriden, ct

"Hey Ben. Heard last night they got Bin Laden and the first thing I thought was 'that's for Ben!!' You are still such a part of our lives. We were going through the massive cd collection the other day and found your metallica cd btw. Still has your name written on it, took us back to Jason's house, drinking a beer, listening to music way too loud, just hanging out together..miss you old friend, we will see you again someday"
Alan and Kristen of Johnstown, Pa

"Ben i wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I miss you so much and wished you were here all the time. The only thing that keeps me going is that i'll see you one day soon and be able to give you a great big hug and kiss. I can feel those hugs and kisses all the time. I spent the holiday with Jean and the family, which was real wonderful as always. I wished you could have met my little Yorkie Saphira, she is miss personality. Anyway i wanted to say hello and let you know my thoughts are with you all the time and to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Blessings to you. I love and miss you so much."
Mom of Meriden CT

"Merry Christmas Ben!! Think about ya often! You will always and forever be in my heart!"
Amber of USA

"I love you so much buddy and today with Christmas approaching a miss you more and more they say time heals all wounds I wouldn't know I think of our last time together and think how my worst thoughts were if you would make it back to base on time with the snow.... Any way I'm so glad we said goodbye... Wish I didn't have to wait so long to say hello"
Joey Monteith of Meriden



"To the family of:Benjamin L. Gilman
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""




"Dearest Ben,
Remembering you, on this Veteran's Day, 2010...the man that you are, soldier, friend, comrade, love.
Angel warrior, God is with you, and you are watching over all of us.
Miss and love you, so much!"
Brandi Hawver of CT

"Hey buddy. Thinking of you this evening. Just thought I should let you know. You are still with me my friend. I wouldn't have it any other way."
Matt of Wisconsin (now in Texas)

"Hey Benny, Miss ya brother. As you well can see Im still stuck here at good old FT Drum. Life has been pretty boring since you left us. We will meet up again someday my friend"
Skip of FT Drum

"Dearest Ben, Your birthday is tomorrow and, yes, I remembered! You were always so amazed at how I remembered every year. How could I forget the birthday of a person who was such an important part of my life? I miss you and think about you everyday. Luv u lots! Your "lil sis" Tara XOXOXO"
Tara (Kafka) Spinner of Hamilton Square, NJ

"Hey Ben me and my sister amy lumbra but now fraizer miss u a lot we havent seen each other since i was a baby. May you lay in peace. i'll go visit your grave as soon as i can and i hope god is taking really good care of you..miss u lots...<3"
Kayla Curtis and Amy (Lumbra) Frazier of Meriden, CT

"Dearest Ben,

Happy Valentines day! Miss you so much everyday and think about you all the time. Don't worry, Tommy and Sophia WILL know what an awesome Uncle Ben they had! I'm so happy I'm back in touch with your mom again and I hope to see her again soon! Love and miss you to pieces! Tara"
Tara (Kafka) Spinner of Hamilton, NJ

Hey brother it has been a long time, 6 years this month. All this time has passed and I still can't believe your gone. I sit and read everything that people write to you and so many memories come to me. Skip and Mark remember coming to the 41st and meeting you, heck I can remember when you came to the unit. I had never met someone so full of life, or someone who could make a crappy day better just by being in the room till i met you. I miss you so much brother, words cant express how great of a person you are, and how much you are still missed. I am proud that I can say we are friends, rest easy brother we will meet again one day."
SSG Robert Stull of Fort Campbell, KY

"To Ben's family,
I was so sad to hear about Ben. I met him in the summer of 2001. He was a sweet, funny person and will be missed."
Nicole Tedesco of Clifton Park, NY

"Hi Ben: I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I know this was your favorite holiday of all time. I'll be spending it with Jean, Lou, Michaella and the boys in the morning and then to Bridgettes in the afternoon. I'm bringing Saphira with me my little Yorkie Terrier. I know she playing with you in the house as she barks and looks at places where she only knows what's there. But its real cute. I know you would love her as she's got this cool temperment thats amazing for a little pup. Michaella has a new puppy also and tomorrow they are going to be playing together. Monday i took the day off of work as Tara will be here for awhile so we can get together. It's going to be real nice to see her. I'll give her a big hug from you. We had 2 snow storms already and this little one loves to play in it. It's so cute to watch. I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and send my love to you. I miss you and love you so much and wished you were here with me but i know you are all the time. God bless you always my darling son. XXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
Mom of Meriden, CT

"Dear Ben,

You will never be forgotten."
Fred of Nashville, TN

dedicated in your name."
Perry of Denver Colorado

"Dear Ben,
Thinking of you, as this Memorial Day 2009 approaches, as I think of you every single day.
Remembering you, celebrating you, loving you, and smiling with you.
Thank you, my dear sweet friend, for being the ultimate protector, guardian, and defender of our freedom.
I miss and love you.
Vigor Et Valor!
Brandi of CT


"Ben it's been a long time and i miss you soo much....yoou were my big brother and my bestfriend...you never got to meet my girls but i tell them about you everyday...i love you and miss you a whole lot...."
Starr(ur lil sis) of Watertown N.Y

"dear ben,
im sorry that i never told you how much you meant to me. you were my everything. i wish that i had one last chance to be in your arms. i love you so very much. not a day goes by where i dont think of you. love and miss you"

"Hey Ben! I've been thinkin about you..miss you lots!!"
Crystal of Phenix City, AL

"Hey Ben. I was thinking of you and wanted to say hi and happy valentine's day. I miss you!"
Jennifer of Meriden,CT

Happy Valentine's Day. I miss you and love forever"

"WOW!! What to say. February 2000 will be a date I will never forget. Its the day I walked through the doors of the 41st Eng at FT Drum and was introduced to a scroney, Hyper young kid named Spc Ben Gilman. Once we got talkin we knew this was gonna be a long friendship, from softball to BBQ's and trying to get tina to open up and stop being so shy. Ben, We shared alot of time together and alot of memories, Like taking my kids for the weekend for absolutly no reason, to taking in two big families when we had got evacuated from our homes. You have a huge heart and I deal with your passing everyday. I always told you I had your back, I'm sorry I failed you. I love you my friend. My kids and Myself will never forget the impact that you had on our lives."
Skip H. of FT Drum, NY (still)

"Ben, I know of you through a friend of yours. I am a Marine VN vet, but we are all brothers. For this great country which you chose to serve... All gave some and some gave all. All you gave was all you had. Semper Fi Ben!"
Perry of Lakewood Colorado

"Hey Ben,
It has been 5 years today that god made you one of his angels.We love you and miss you so much.I know that you are watching over your Cutie Pie.She getting so big.She is always talking about you. love you and miss you."

There isn't a day that hasn't gone by since that day that I don't think of you. The world is a less brighter place with you gone. I remeber everything that we did together, to include making your wife crazy when I would come over and things we probally shouldn't have done. If it wouldn't have been for you, I would have never made it through PLDC. You helped me get right in the unit and helped me grow into a great Soldier and Leader. I miss you, and I stop and visit your uniform on a daily basis along side of my Soldiers uniform. I know you are keeping watch over us and we will party once again in heaven. I am still at Ft. Drum. Any loved ones that would like to contact me, I can be reached at markjvechini@Hotmail.com"
Mark J. Vechini (OTTO) of Fort Drum, NY

There isn't a day that hasn't gone by since that day that I don't think of you. The world is a less brighter place with you gone. I remeber everything that we did together, to include making your wife crazy when I would come over and things we probally shouldn't have done. If it wouldn't have been for you, I would have never made it through PLDC. You helped me get right in the unit and helped me grow into a great Soldier and Leader. I miss you, and I stop and visit your uniform on a daily basis along side of my Soldiers uniform. I know you are keeping watch over us and we will party once again in heaven."
Mark J. Vechini (OTTO) of Fort Drum, NY

"Hey Ben,
It has been 5 long years since you were taken from us and we still miss you very much. It still feels like yesterday when we got the news. You are a big part of our family and I know you are watching over all of us.
We love you very much and miss you lots wish you were here in person but we know you are here in spirit , we feel your presence around us all the time so please keep watching over us , you are our gaurdian angel.
P.S. sammy is up there with you, tell him we miss him too. Hope to hear from you soon.
You will always be in our hearts. Love Forever
Your Aunt Karen ,Uncle Sal, couisns Jen,Chrissy,Melissa,Amanda, Peter."
Aunt Karen of East Haven ,Ct

"Thank you for your service... You are forever a Hero.. and family..We all miss you.."
Howard of Shelton wa.

"Merry Christams Ben! I miss you so much. You know I think about you every day. Iam going to have another baby. Iam hoping for a boy =). I wish you could have had the little girl you wanted so much "Rebecca" =) Your life was taken to soon. But Iam so proud of you. I love you and Merry Christmas."
Tenisha of Black River

"Hi Ben, well its almost Christmas and I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, i've got a card to send to your mom, it will be late, sorry for that, im not very good at sending things anymore. I think about you all the time still, every single day to be exact. i have been told msgs that you wanted said to me and I thank-you for them and hold them dear.and i do believe you are my guardian angel. I love and miss you very much. muah."
Nikki Bachner of Sackets Harbor, Ny

"hi ben
i miss you more and more each day."

"Hi Ben, I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I went to the cememtary today to visit you a while and left a beautiful wreath and poinsetta for you to enjoy. The day was nice but with a real chill in the air. The rest of the day was spent at Mary's for Thanksgiving, everyone was there and it was fun watching Darin with Max, Mary's dog. It was so adorable. I wished you were with us in person but i felt your presence right next to me throughout the whole day. I love you and miss you so much. God bless you my darling son. Love for Eternity"
Mom of Meriden, CT

"Its been a while since I have wrote you. you already know how much i miss you. I hope you come to me again in a dream it was great to see you. I love you and miss you so much"

"Ben - Thank you for your warrior spirit and willingness to serve in uniform so that all Americans can stand proud and free today and for many years to come. May God bless you above as you look over us -- and may God bless your family with happiness and love for the pain they have endured."
Maj. Jim Tynan, USAF ret. of Pike Road, AL

"When we are born God gives each man and instinct to survive. As parents we raise our children to
adapt to the worlds conveniences and how to deal with the inconveniences of life. We pray
each night.."God keep my child safe". Our child grows into a man. Fit and ready for life. Some
become Doctors, Lawyers, Policemen, Painters, Clergyman, Astronauts and other trades and
professions. We see our Sons as remarkable men and so proud of them. They are making a
difference in their lives as well as in others. We appreciate them. They are special men and
women, to go the extra mile to keep America safe. These men and women are proud of
their jobs like all the rest. We sometimes envy them the soldiers and warriors of our Freedom.
Wishing we could be in their shoes and do our part. Well we did, we are the Mothers and Fathers
of these heroes, that are fortunate enough to serve our country to keep us free and safe.

Here is the poem:

Benjamin, Oh Benjamin You fought so gallantly on the fields. Each step you took
helped freedom yield. Now you have fallen so fearlessly. You help protect your
comrades and me and you.

Benjamin, Oh Benjamin. I thank you my son for the lesson you taught me of how
precious it is for a life to be free. Thank you Benjamin for tomorrow I can see
the heroes of war and the peace that it will give me forever more.

Thank you Oh Benjamin."
John Humphries of Georgia

"Hi Ben,
Fourth of July, 2008. Thank you, my dear sweet Ben. Thinking of you today, and every single day for the friend, son, man, and soldier that you are.
Miss you so much, love you, and smile all the time, for you are always alive, in all our hearts.
Brandi of CT

"To Ben"s family,
The day Ben died the army and the world lost a great man. He was a good friend and I was there the day he died. it will forever haunt me, and I will forever miss him."
SSG Gingras of Fort Drum NY

"SGT Gilman,
Whats up dude. This is Doc Thomas. I wanted to let you know that I have never forgotten about you or that day. I wish I would of gotten the chance to know you better. But it was an honor to serve with you and you still owe me a case of beer for taking care of you when you were sick. I haven't forgot about that. Maybe we can share one when we meet again. Love ya and miss ya man!
-Doc Thomas"
SSG Donald Thomas of Killeen, Texas

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, your smile, your love for life, your exhuberance, and energy.
Every-time I pass the American flag at the Big Y in my town, your are instantly there in my mind, my view.
Now being a single Mom of Nick 7 1/2, and Ricky nearly 2, they are patriotic, and Ricky always points to the sky, and says, "flag, mama, flag."
Nick will be in the annual Daffodil Festival in Meriden on Sat, with Dad.
Every time I visit Meriden, and go by and visit your park, drive on Cook Ave, pass by Platt, you are so much a presence in my heart, and so many memories are right there, flooding back of you, and all the happy times we shared.
I'll never stop loving you, or forgetting you, for as long as I live.
I miss you so much!
Edie, as always, thank you for our Ben!
Brandi of Vernon, CT

"Hi Ben, Still can't believe your gone even though it's been over four years. I still remember all of us hanging out on Cook Ave. You may be gone, but will never be forgotton. May you rest in peace Ben."
Nicole Hobbs-Gonzalez of New Haven, CT

"hi Ben...well its been four years since you've been gone and i still think of you all the time. i now have a little boy as you know named Benjamin after you. your still in my heart. i took him to meet your mom it was a good trip, on the drive there and back it made me think about when we took your car to your mom before you left. i would like to see her again soon and the park, im sure its come along way since then. i just want you to know i loved and still do love you very much you were very important to me and always will be. i remember all of our memories like they were yesterday. i know your busy but when ever im having a hard time i always pray to you that your with me and that youll help me through. quite a few times i think u did. well i love and miss you. take care.MUAH"
Nikki Bachner of Sackets Harbor,NY

"Hey Ben, It has been 4 long years since you left this life and I miss you more everyday, so much has been going on I wish you were here. I know you are here in spirit.I know you are always around for us.I miss you stopping by unexpectedly, surprising us and wrestling with the kids, you'll always have a place in our hearts and you will never be forgotten.
I wish you were here , love you forever."
Aunt Karen of East Haven

"Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year in heaven Ben. We miss you and love you so much. God bless you always, Love for Eternity."

"November 19, 2007
To the family of Sgt. Benjamin L. Gilman:
Benjamin gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"hi ben its been a long time. you are greatly missed to this day.you were the craziest guy ive ever known besides cj but i guess thats why you two were such good friends. lol even tho tyler was little he still remembers you as his buddy. ill never forget you ben. me and tina lost each other for a while but somehow we found each other again. its crazy how life works sometimes. but we miss you and love you ben!"
melissa thiel of covington,ky

"Hi Ben,
I know that it has been along time since we seen each other. I know that you are watching over me . I love you and miss you so much. I think about you all of the time. You are my hero."
summer onorato of east haven, Ct

"The day before you left you told me to kiss you goodbye because you knew in your heart we would never see each other again. I didnt believe you and I didnt want to hear that... so i didnt. I left that day with only a hug never saying goodbye because goodbye was forever. I remember saying see you later. You were so upset... and now I know why. Its taken me a long time to get to this point... I didnt believe you were gone... I never wanted to believe it. When everyone came back and you didnt... well i had to let go. I hope your watching over me and sometimes I think your here... i have so many memories of so many crazy times... good times... bad times... silly string. haha. now that i know this website is here i will come often... i cant come as often as you cross my mind i would be here everyday. I miss you and love you... always have always will. xoxox"
michelle of watertown ny

"Hey Ben,

I know it's been to long but I never know what to write. Well I'm finally gonna do it I'm gonna get the joker tatoo that you had on the back of your leg I know I know I said I'd get it when I turned 18 but I was planing on you being there but now I'm gonna get up the balls.

Buddy's turned 18 today to believe Buddy is an adult.lol. Well he wants to get a tatoo now and because no one else will go with him I'm getting up the nerve to go get the joker like I promised remember the brother, sister tatoo that only we would have I think I'm just nervous. lol. Because I remember when you got yours you cryed like a baby in the tatoo parlers chair and you were screaming everytime they put the needle near your leg. lol.

I miss the good old days. Every summer since you left I miss you more and more everytime I look at my roller blades I made my grandma buy me because of you.lol I haven't put them on since well you know I'm sure.

I carry that picture of me and you at your moms work in Conneticut when we bought that whole box of peanut m&ms so she wouldn't have to sell them anymore.. hahaha..Your probly mad at me though I havn't really talked to your mom in a couple years I feel really bad because I love your mom but I don't know what to say to her. Well anyways I gotta go when you got a kid they don't wait very well mines getting into something right now and trying to be sneaky about it because she thinks that I think she's still sleeping..lol
Until we meet again in my dreams bro.

Love you!"
Ashley of Watertown, NY

"Just wanted to let you know i was thinking about you. I miss you so very much. Love always"
Crystal of Columbus Ga


"On this 4th of July 2007, I celebrate the life of you. You are alive and living in my heart, for all eternity.
Thank you for defending our freedom, and for watching over us, from heaven above, every single day.
I miss and love you so much!
Brandi of CT

"Hey Ben,
Today was a rough day. Ive been up since 4:30am. Ive been real cranky lately. My body is going through all kinds of mood swings. I have been thinking about moving back to the east coast. Somewhat closer to MOM and Jon and everyone else. Its kinda a hard decision for me but I will keep you informed. Other than that I try to take things day by day. I still have a lot of pain and sorrow to deal with. Most people had three years but Im working on three days. On a positive note though, they can help me out because they been through the initial part. MOM really helped me get through it by talking to me. Me getting back in contact with her put a smile on your face I know it. Well just wanted to say hey and I miss you.

Your Bro,
Fredrick Myers of Dixon, CA /USA

"Hey Ben,
Just wanted to stop by and say I was thinking of you today. I talked to "MOM" and Tina today. I thought you would like to know that. I will be honest it was difficult to talk about it but I know you already knew that. I plan on going to CT this month to see you and MOM, look at some pictures and videos and stuff. I cant wait because we always talked about going back home together and it finally looks like we are going to do it.
Man I miss you brother. Take care of yourself. I will talk to you tomorrow.

Love Always,
Fredrick Myers of dixon, CA /USA

"Thank you Sgt. Gilman from the depths of my heart...Memorial Day 2007."
Bela of Woodbury, CT

"Hey Ben,

I was thinking of you today. You will always be on my mind and I promise you I will honor your memory until the day we see each other again.

Love Always,
Fredrick Myers of Dixon, CA USA

"To Bens Family,

I dony know if Ben every talked about me but "MOM" cane to the house and meet me when Ben was married. We talked all hours of the night about families and where we grew up. We were very close to each other. When I went to Kuwait he was there with me. When he went to Kuwiat I was with him. We enjoyed each others company on and off duty. The news about Gilman is new to me and Im sorry I didnt keep in better contact. I would like to catch up with anybody who wants to talk about our memories and how we got through our times at 317th Engineer Battallion Fort Benning, GA.

P.O. Box 656
Dixon, CA 95620

phone # 707-310-9169"
Fredrick Myers of Dixon, CA USA

"Today is Memorial Day 2007.
I lost contact with my best friend Gilman when he re-enlisted and went to Fort Drum, New York. I seen him maybe once after that. Today I decided it was past due for me to reunite with my friend and fellow soldier. I found this website.

Hey Ben,
Remember me? Hey man life was good in the day wasnt it. Remember being stationed at Fort Benning, GA. I remeber when we would go out partying on the weekends and stuff. Hey man, you introduce me to my wife! I remember us in Kuwait (the 1ST time) playing cards all through the night making plans about what we were going to do when we got back to GA. I remember volunteering to go to Kuwait (the second time becaues your unit was going)We would sit in our tent and listen to music and just make the best of what we had.
I was in your wedding one of the best men. I remember when you broke your leg during trining at sapper school and you stayed at my house for a bit and we took care of you.
I wish we had more time to make more memories Ben I will miss you.

I miss you Ben

Fredrick Myers of Dixon, CA USA

"Hi Ben:
To my dearest sweet son, i wish you a happy birthday. I think about you all the time and wish you were here with me and the rest of us that love and miss you so much. Theres not a day that goes by that your not in our hearts and thoughts and prayers. Memorial day means alot to everyone who remembers you and the others who gave so much to this country. We miss and love you so much. God bless you always my dearest Ben. With Lots of Hugs and Love to you.
Edie Gilman (Ben's Mom) of Meriden, CT

"Hey Benji. Just wanted to say HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY. You are the best thing to celebrate for this day. I miss you so much. Love ya, babe."
Dawn of Florida

This one's for you Ben!!! I miss you so much, every single day. I love you!!!
Brandi of CT

"Hey Bubba! Just stopping by to let you know i was thinking about you! You are always in my heart and i'll never forget you..i love and miss you so much.."
Crystal Roberts of Columbus Ga

"Hi Ben. I'm sorry this is the first time I've written. I stop by once in awhile but can never think of how to put in words how I've felt. When we first met I was 13 and you were 18 volunteering at the hospital. You were so nice to me right away. I feel so bad about how I use to follow you around everywhere. I had the biggest crush. It may have faded over time but it never fully went away. Even when I turned 18 you tried to make me join and I probably should've. You were the only one that thought I could do it. The world needs more people like you in it. I feel honored to have known you. I miss you soo much bud. My thoughts are always with you and you family. Thank you."
Jennifer of Meriden,Ct

"Hey man!
I always come by once a year, or so. I wanted to let you know that you are the subject of my thoughts a lot... I miss ya my friend."
Matt of Wisconsin

"HAPPY NEW YEAR BEN. I miss you so much. God bless you always."

"Merry Christmas Ben, I miss you & love you so much. You are always in my heart all the time. God bless you."

"Hey Ben, I just wanted to say Happy Holidays! You will always be in our hearts!"
Luciana of Little Neck, NY

Something that I thought you should know, and would definitely put a smile on your face, because I know it was you.
Your Mom and I were talking the other night online for a long time. So many things.
The next day at work ironically, a patient was admitted, with the name Benjamin. Were you talking to my heart, my soul Ben....happy about the special conversation your Mom and I had...our sharing/our connection, with you?
I think so. You let me know that you are smiling and loving us all, from heaven....your family and friends.
Thank You Ben, for your special signs, and for sending me that special one, the day after I talked with your Mom.
Love and Miss You So Much,
Brandi of CT

"Hey Brother, Sorry I didn't say hello on Veteran's Day. I know it is our day but I got to spend it with family. Wish you could say the same. Crain is in German with 2CR, Titko just had a baby and we are prepping for a tour in Iraq (I am with 4/2ID). Hope you are well brother. I think about you a lot. Take care....."
Raymond III of Ft. Lewis, Wa

"Happy Thanksgiving Ben, I love & miss you so much, You are always in my heart all the time, God bless you always."

"A stand up guy from the neighborhood and childhood friend. I will never forget him. He is definately a mans man that should never be forgotten."
John Craig of Hartford,CT

"Ben I am sorry I havent been able to be on here in awhile but I want to say I still think about you all the time, I carry your pic with me everywhere I go, and the best news that I have to tell is that my son is almost 2 years old now Caiden Benjamin named after you and he will carry on your name as far as I am concerned forever and believe me he is a handful just like you were he can make anyone laugh just like you could and he has a great personality just like you did so believe when I say he is representing you all the way. I love and miss you sooooo much I will never forget you as long as I live and we will all see you again someday Love you ben!!!"
Brandi of watertown ny

"Hey man, I am watching the Military Channel on T.V. nothing interresting. SSG Becker and PFC Gettings were ambushed and were messed up pretty good. They were interviewed for this documentary. Gettings looks loopy on morphine and Becker looks fat. I guess that the camera really does put ten pounds on. I hated that place."
Raymond III of Ft. Lewis, Wa

Raymond III of Ft. Lewis, Wa

Remembering you, this Fourth of July, 2006. Thank you for our freedom, for the gift you gave us all. Especially to your mother Edie, for giving us the blessing of you.
You are never forgotten, and always in my heart.
God love you, and keep you safe, as I know He is.
Brandi of CT

Crystal Roberts~~ Baby_booboo22@yahoo.com of COLUMBUS, GEORGIA

"Hey bro! Checkin in with you again. I probably don't do it enough. You are still with me! I wont allow you to be forgotten."
Matt of Wisconsin

"Remembering and honoring you this Memorial Day, 2006. We will never forget."
Bela Beaupre of Woodbury, CT

"Happy Birthday in heaven Ben. Love you so much. God bless you always."

"Happy Birthday Ben...May 21, your 31'st.
I know your happiness is so evident in the heavens, as you are with Jesus, and all your loved ones. But that you are happy, and looking down, guiding, and protecting, and always watching over all your friends and family, especially your mother.
I miss you Ben. You're always in my heart, always in my thoughts. I have so many beautiful memories of you.
Love You,
Brandi of CT

Crystal Roberts~~ Baby_booboo22@yahoo.com of COLUMBUS, GEORGIA

"Happy Easter Ben
God Bless you always"


"I don't know why it has taken me so long to write anything, I guess maybe its cuz I didn't want to beleive it. I wish that we didn't lose contact. I still have all those pics of you Jason and Price in Basic Training looking at them makes me laugh. I miss you and think of you all the time."
Angie_Radmall@hotmail.com of Salt Lake Utah


Your name is written in the heavens, and you remain a star etched in my heart forever.
Miss you so much...
Brandi of CT

"hi my name is jennifer lee morton and thank you for doing a good job for us"
jenniferlmorton@yahh of weyerhaeuser wi 54895

"Happy Valentines Day Ben, God bless you always."

"Ben, my life is yours. I miss you more than I should. Never will I forget the day you left. My success is yours. You were the only one to make it out whole."
SGT Duelge of wisconsin

I would like to say thank you to you and the 7 other soldiers who were killed in that blast for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Vigor Et Valor"(Strength And Spirit)
41st Engrs. Motto"

"Happy New Year
God Bless You Always Ben""

""Merry Christmas"
God Bless You Ben"

"Hey Ben, Alan and I just wanted to tell you how much we miss you. We heard from Hurlburts about 2 days after it happened. We could never thank you enough for letting us stay with you when we got married,and extra furniture you gave us because we just got married and had nothing. We miss being in NY and you coming over on the weekends. We miss your great personality and the way you could make everyone laugh, no matter what. We still have the tv stand you gave us- it's full of nicks and scratches from us moving, but we can't let it go. We're so sorry we didn't get to say goodbye before you left for Afghanistan. We miss you and love you, dude."
Kristen and Alan Taylor of Johnstown,PA formerly Fort Drum,NY

""Happy Thanksgiving,
God Bless You Ben""

"Ben,WOW have no clue what to say. This site just makes everything so real. I look at your pictures, see the park that was dedicated to you and my heart breaks, even though you were my brother in law for a short time. I just want to say it was a HONOR to get to know you and and a BIGGER HONOR to know a HERO ! THANK YOU BEN for EVERYTHING you have done for this contry,YOU WILL Never be forgotten"
Shelly of New Mexico

Happy Veteran's Day, in heaven our SGT, Our Guardian, forevermore.
I will be lighting a candle in your honor, and for your mother Edie, and saying a prayer, today....Veteran's Day.
Thank You, for all that you are, Ben.
You are always in my heart, and so many others, and never forgotten, never just a memory.
I know your smile is radiant, as you watch over all of us.
Thank You, Ben.
Love You,
Brandi of CT

"Ben, You are my Brother. I remember the day that you told me that you were reenlisting for Ft. Drum. You were pretty damn excited to be going home. We were always on the peripherys of each others circles but always had a big smile and good conversation for each other. I was pretty damn surprised that you were still in the Army when I arrived at Ft. Drum. Was happy that you were progressing well and looking forward to laughs with you In Country. Fate didn't have it that way, you went north to Bagram and I went south to Qanduhar. I believe that we are fighting a good fight and some sacrifices have to be made though I prefer that they would happen further from home. I could not attend your memorial. Not because I was busy (I chose to work in the mine line) but because I just couldn't. Sorry Brother. If I could do it again, I would be there. Sometimes your smile haunts me. I think of us sweating in Kuwait in 99 laughing about the heat and wondering why we had to put in so much damn triple strand. I remember the flight home, where they weren't going to let us off the place because someone stole a single serving bottle of red wine. Time has been tough my friend. I am looking forward to a time when we will get to patrol together again........"
Raymond A. Mailloux, raymond.mailloux@us.army.mil of Ft. Lewis, Washington

"Sunny days seem to hurt the most
Wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
See your smile, I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
Still can't believe your gone

It ain't fair you died to young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing, no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder, who you'd be today

Would you see the world
Would you chase your dreams
Settle down with a family
I wonder what would you name your babies
Someday's the sky's so blue
I feel like I can talk to you
And I know it might sound crazy


Today [3x]
Today [3x]

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
The only thing that gives me hope
Is I know, I'll see you again someday

Someday, someday
~Kenny Chesney

I still see and feel you everywhere. Not a day goes by, that I am not reminded of you, your smile, your love for life, and your spirit.
God, I miss you so very much!
I love you so much, and I will see you, "someday."
Brandi of CT.

"I cried for you, just as I promised.
Bagram Air Base-'03-'04"
Mark W Billings of Guam

"Im sitting in my room right now,
looking at all the pictures of you.
And yet, I've come to conculsion not a day will go by where I dont cry. Not a day will go by that I dont think of you.
You were my heart and soul for living. My cousin, more like my brother, and my best friend,
i miss you more then anyone ben.
your everything to me<3"
Chrissy Bagnoli of East Haven CT

"you are a true hero and you will always be in my heart like my 2 fallen soliders and are pow matt maupin. to the family of the other fallen soldiers i pray for you"
sgt hiatt of bartonville, il

"We are free and safe this July 4th, 2005 because of men like you. Thank you Benjamin Gilman. You paid the ultimate price, your life, to make this world a better place. I have met so many soldiers since my nephew died just over a year ago. All you guys are one of a kind, the nicest, most respectful, admirable, dignified, brave group. I like to say a species onto yourself. I have no doubt, even though I never met you, that you too are of the same mold. To your family and friends, I pray they have found comfort in God's love and in their own love for you and from you. Love lives in our hearts forever."
Bela of Woodbury, CT

"Hey man, knew this site has been up, not sure why I thought of you now, guess because that was the last place i was of the last and only time i was overseas, Ghazni, Fort Apache, HELL... Brouillette wanted me to come and see your family when we got back, i never made it though, brouilette's outta the army now, best buds...heh, i've lost contact with em, no idea if he ever became a cop like you guys had planned... still got that other part to wu tang forever, you borrowed the other man heh, i bought the W tat for somone, it's different than yours, its shaded grey with a killer bee, and he bought the W globe tat for somone hah, started a trend. Well, I''ve been a fireteam-leader for a while now, got transferred to 1-87 aco, so they could stoploss me, i'm off to iraq for a year in 6 weeks, maybe that's why i thought of ya man, i was at your memorial service, i'll never forget it, and i'll never let anyone talk down the people lost in these wars, wish i wouldve known ya longer man, not the best of friends but me you n mike were supposed ta rock that first weekend in the states again, watch my back over there, ya got a better view than me now, take it easy bro"
Rob O'Brien of Fort Drum, NY

"Dear Ben,
Happy Memorial Day (2005), in heaven... angel, friend, guardian, and protector.
I miss you so much, and I know you are happy and smiling as ever, and that you are watching over, guiding, and loving your mother, constantly.
Thank You for defending our freedom, and our country, sweet Ben.
Happy Belated 30th birthday, May 21, 2005.
Miss you and love you always,
Brandi of CT.

"Happy 30th Birthday Ben. We miss you so much and have you in our thoughts and prayers all the time. God bless you"

"HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY, Benji. I miss you. I was thinking about you today and thought I would come to your site and tell you Happy Birthday. I can't believe that we are the big 30 this year. I'm sure you're up there now having the biggest party of your life. Don't party too hard. Love Ya Ben."
Dawn Denton of Baker, Fl

"Dear Ben,
I couldn't come to this website until now. I can't even take your name out of my cell phone. I see your face everyday, it's plastered in my head. I don't even need all those photos that you sent me, because I have them memorized.
You touched my life so much. Nobody has ever made it easier to love them. Every person you met could feel it. You were a living angel. Thank you for being in my life. For always being a friend and never giving up on me.
I will carry all of the wonderful memories that you gave to me for the rest of my life. God bless you, your family, and your friends. You are in my heart forever."
Jill Crandall of Southington, CT 06489

"Happy Easter Ben
God Bless You"

"To the Family of Benjamin Gilman:

I came across this web site when I typed in my son's name (Adam Kinser) last night. As I read all of the awesome tributes to him, I was overwhelmed by the response of so many wonderful people. I would just like to say thank you to your son, Benjamin, for giving his life so that we can keep our freedom in this great country of ours. What has gotten us through this last year has been our faith in God and our knowledge that Adam is Heaven, where we will one day see him again. As the Bible says, we do not mourn as one who has no hope. Our hope is in Jesus and I pray that your hope is also in Him. I pray that as the days and months go by, God will ease your pain and you will look forward to seeing Benjamin again some day soon. Remember that this life is but a breath compared to eternity and forever in Heaven is a long, long time.
My e-mail is pauledwardkinser@msn.com if your wish to write. God Bless you and your family!
P.S. Adam's son was born three days after his unit came home from Afghanistan. Adam Noah Adyn Kinser will be one year old on March 12. He is such a blessing!"
Terri Kinser of Rio VIsta, CA

"Dear Benji,
Hey, babe. I can't believe that it has already been a year since you went to see daddy and grandma. I miss you more everyday. I remember Aunt Karen and Uncle Sal's wedding when I was standing there in front of everyone and you kept making faces at me in the pew. I tried so hard to keep a straight face, but you made me laught every time you were around. I also remember the Easter I came to East Haven with Grandpa and Helen and we broke the boiled eggs on our heads to peel them so your mom could make deviled eggs for everyone. You are a great guy and great friend. I miss you greatly. To Aunt Edie, I love you alot and miss you, too. Next time I'm up that way, I will come to see you. Love Ya both, Dawn Marie."
Dawn of Baker, Fl.

"Happy Valentines Day Ben
God bless you"

It's been a year since you've been gone, but yet i still feel your presence around me. You and Aunt Edie have been their for me since I was born. Yes I know the first diaper you ever changed was mine and Aunt Edie wont let me forget that!!! You were not just my cousin, but my big brother. You took us out for halloween, you were here for christmas and easter and who could ever forget the time you threw your mom in the kiddy pool on our Memorial Day Party. Who could forget the times you would come visit us and when we went to the store all the girls would be looking at you and we would be like "umm no"! lol! There are so many more memories in the past 19 years that I could NOT fit on this. I think about you all the time. 24/7 and I know you are still watching out for me.I love you and I miss you so much. NO ONE could ever take your place!!"
Love your cousin, Jen of East Haven, CT

"Ben, it's been a year (1/29/04), since God and the angels took you to heaven.
My friends and I celebrated you, raised a toast to you, and talked about the wonderful man, person, son, friend, you are, and remain. I had smiles, and love filling my heart...love and happiness that was in me, from you.
Thank You Ben, for giving me laughter, light, and the patriotism, love for my country, because you were a brave, soldier/warrior.
I love you Ben. Heaven is sparkling always, because it has you.
Your Mom, friends, and loved ones, are forever touched, and imprinted by, all that is you.
Love You Always,
Brandi of CT

"It has been a year and i dont wanna believe it...i really love you and u will always be my big brother forever...miss you hun..."
Starr(Bens lil sis) of Watertown N.Y

"Sappers forward, Gilman. Take it easy brother"

Its already been a year and it get harder and harder as every day goes by.I really shouldnt have to write on a page like this because you are supposed to be home with your friends and family right now but I guess god needed you more than we did, and its not fair!! Y does he need you? Because you were a good person and only the good die young!! I love and miss you Ben, you are always in my heart and will never leave there.I always waited for you to come home so we could wrestle but that will never happen again. Even tho your not here its not goodbye forever."
Amanda(Cousin) of East Haven, CT

"Hey Ben I miss you and im thinking of you big brother..Your B-Day is cumming up and I wanna wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY..I love you and miss you..You'll always be with me and in my heart.I LOVE YOU BIG BROTHER..."
Starr(Bens lil sis) of Watertown N.Y

"Merry Christmas from Heaven

I love you all so dearly,
Now don't shed a tear
I'm spending my Christmas
With Jesus this year."

"Dear Ben,
Your Memorial Park Dedication went well. I felt your presence with me, as I am sure all your loved ones, and friends did.
I knew you were smiling, and had to be hugging us all, in your warmth and love, and smiles, that is so you.
I look forward to helping your Mom, plant and tidy up the park, in the spring, to make it an extra special place for all the kids, and people that go through your park, Ben.
Your sign is wonderful...majestic...made me proud of the soldier, the man, that I always knew...so genuine, so true, so loving.
You remain, ever part of my heart, thoughts, every day life. Not a moment goes by, where I am not reminded of all that is you, Ben.
I pray for you Mom, every day...I know you are with her.
You are missed so much, my Ben...and I love you.
Merry Christmas in heaven. I know you are everyone's angel and protector.
Brandi of CT, USA

"Happy Veteran's Day, my dear sweet Ben. I am thinking of you so much, especially this day.
I know you are smiling, know you are looking down watching, loving, and guiding us all.
Thank You for serving your country, for giving me the gift of love and friendship.
You are forever in my heart, now and always. I love and miss you...
Happy Veteran's Day in heaven, Ben.
Brandi H. of Ellington, CT

I miss your smile and the jokes. The boys miss you and sometimes Tracy cries for you to come play with him. I keep telling him you are in heaven with his papa and that he is taking care of you up there. Ashley cried for you when she saw your picture in the paper again. We all miss you so much. Your my "G" man. You brought joy into our household and smiles to our faces every time you entered. We love you always and miss you. Love, "MOMMA T", BEAR, Tracy, Buddy, Chris and Ashley"
Teresa A. Petty of Watertown, NY

"Ben-I want you to know what you meant/mean to me. You were the best thing to come into my life. The way you made me feel and the things you said to me. I love you today, and forever-you will always be in my heart, and theres a special place that no one can ever replace. I hope I did well in making you as happy as possible while overseas with letters and packages. You will never be forgotten by me or my family we all love you and think of you everday. Even though you are gone, your still living in my heart and memories. I love and miss you always...muah.."
Nikki Bachner of Sackets Harbor,Ny

"To the family and friends,

Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved ones bravery and sacrifice. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. Your loved one is a hero. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.

God bless you.

Home Front Ministries
Shepherd of the Hills Church
Porter Ranch, CA"

"Thanks for stepping forward when America needed you. To the family - Thank you for your contribution to our liberty and freedom. I'm sorry for your tremendous loss."
Ronald Carlson of Montrose, MN

"I am thinking of you, remembering, and missing you so much Ben. I just looked at your Memorial Park web-site, and pictures, again. God, I wish I could hug you, one more time. I know I have your presence within me always.
You are missed so much. I know you are heaven's light shining down upon your mom, your family, your friends.
Edie, thank you for giving us all Ben, and for you.
Love, Brandi"
Brandi of CT, USA

"Check out http://www.gilmanmemorialpark.com"


"Sergeant Gilman, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Ben, You will always be in our thoughts and hearts. We love and miss you so much. We find it hard to believe that you are truly gone. We often find ourselves waiting for a letter, or talking of that visit we were going to have soon. Then we remember.... You will always be alive in our hearts, we will never forget you. We are so proud of you and to be your Uncle and Aunt. Rest in Peace. Uncle Edward and Aunt Char (We love you Edie....)"
Edward and Char Gilman of Shelton, Washington

"How to write a remembrance of someone I still can't believe is gone from us?? I still Don't know. I think about what a great guy he was, how having hardly known me he still treated me like we grew up together, and how he wanted to meet my Wife and Kids, and it tears me up. I barely knew my cousin but of all the people i've ever met i still have the strongest of memories of him.
Ben may be gone but i will never forget him, and my kids will learn of their cousin, He is the best example i know to show them of a real hero.

Grandma Ruth sends her love to you and your mom. Be at Peace Ben"
William of Spanaway, WA



"Dearest Ben,
Words cannot describe how much you are missed. I'll miss getting letters from you with your funny little stories. I'll miss your bright smile that you always wore. I'll miss your generousity and kindness. I'll miss playing UNO with you and your mom. I'll miss riding our big wheels down the old gravel driveway on Broad St. in Meriden. I'll miss playing hide-n-seek. I'll miss hanging out with you in the lunch room at good ole' Platt High School. But most of all, I will miss the only big brother I ever had. I don't think you really knew how much you meant to me. Although, we have only been able to write each other over the last few years, you have always remained my dearest and best friend and brother. I love you and miss you like crazy. Rest in Peace my greatest American hero."
Tara Spinner of Hamilton, NJ

"Hey Ben I just found out about what happened I was looking at the park donations and saw your picture. I just wanted to say that I love you very much and I am going to miss you. You are a such a great guy and I care about you so much. Iam going to miss you wrestling around with me and the kids. Hopefully I will see you someday soon. I love you and will never forget you. And to Bens family you have raised such a great man and I thank you for that"
Tenisha Kaundart of Watertown Ny


The city of Meriden, CT and Sgt. Benjamin Gilman's friends and family are in the process of renaming and restoring the Bronson Park on Cook Avenue in Meriden in Honor of Meriden's 1st fallen soldier since Vietnam.

We are looking for people to volunteer time to help restore the park as well as monatary donations to help fund the project.

A website has been donated by Brass City Web Design to the Sgt. Benjamin Gilman Memorial Park project. It is www.gilmanmemorialpark.com

Please visit the site to make donations to the project, volunteer your time, view pictures of Ben as well upload any pictures you have of Ben.
We will have more pictures of the park and the clean up process as we go along. We will also have updates of the progress we have made as well as information pretaining to upcoming events.
This site is still underconstruction, so visit it often for any updates.

If you have suggestions or ideas for the site please feel free to contact the webmaster of the site at webmaster@gilmanmemorialpark.com

I encourage everyone to view the website and become involved with our project. Help us build a memorial that will forever show our appreciation to Sgt. Gilman who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Thank you for you time."
Stacy Hankey of Waterbury, CT

"To everyone,
Thank you for all your memories of Ben, i read this column daily and am thankful he knew so many people and was happy. Anyone wishing to contact me my email address is sparrow220@aol.com, my address is 18 Allen Ct., Unit B-2, Meriden, CT 06451. God bless you all."
Edith Gilman of Meriden, CT

"To the family of Benjamin Gilman, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Ben was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia with my son Matt. I met him at dinner one evening while visiting Matt and his wife (Susie). Ben was there with a few of Matt's other buddies. When Ben and Matt and the others were shipped to Kuwait, I would write Ben and sent him cookies and whatever he and Matt requested.
When Matt left the service I lost touch with Ben. I just learned recently of his passing. I have very good memories of lots of laughter and also some serious times with Ben. He was a really great young man to be around. I recently found a letter he wrote me and would like to share it with his Mom if she is interested. Ben has such a special place in my heart. He left warmth and kindness and love wherever he went. He is all around us in so many ways. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Ben made the greatest sacrifice for his country, freedom and his family and I will never forget that."
Betty Knebel of Waxhaw, NC

"To the Gilman Family,
I was with Ben two days before the accident. When I heard about it I knew that he was one of the poeple lost in the accident. He loved his job. When I was down I could count on him to pick me up. Even when he was on MP missions and had no idea what he was doing, he still had a smile on his face. I did not know him for too long, but the short time I was with him, he made a lasting impression on me. I'm sure he had the same affect on everyone else. I have some pitcures of him maybe a week or two before the accident. I would be happy to share them with you if you wish. You can contact me at mpmoss@verizon.net

God Bless

SPC Robert Moss"
SPC Bob Moss of Largo FL

"I was Ben's company commander for about a year when he first got to Fort Drum and A/41st. He was a great soldier: always cheerful, always working, always volunteering for the hard and dangerous work. He's one of those guys you can't remember without smiling. These same selfless traits led him to make the ultimate sacriface, and make him a man we can all be proud of. He will be missed but not forgotten."
MAJ Mike Clancy of US Army, West Point NY

"Ben, I was at your house yesterday to visit your mom.We had fun talking about our memories of you, but it just wasnt the same without you there. Something felt very empty and quiet, amd I was just waiting for u to come in the door at any time wondering what we were doing eating dinner without you. Although we knew you were there in spirit ( and in our words, "Its all good!")it sure would have been nice to have you there for real.
Your mom is very proud of u and misses you alot. Shes a very strong person but i dont have to tell u that. It takes a good mom to raise a good son. You both were very blessed to have each other for the short time u did.

Edie, You are great person and u are stronger than u think. Take each day at your own pace, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You do what u feel u need to do. We are all here for u and will be on your good days and bad days. Hopefully soon there will be more good than bad but take ur time, there is no time frame for the loss of a child.
Love you both!

Ps thank u to every one who has written on here, it means alot to his family, esp his mom. Keep the messages coming! God Bless you all!"
Stacy Hankey of Waterbury, CT

"To the family and friends of Shawn Clemens,
We can only but pray that we will have the pleasure of meeting such a wonderful soldier as Shawn in that golden city. He along with our son Justin Scott and six other soldiers paid the ultimate price for our freedom and the freedom even of those who do not realize this. These men are now soldiers of a higher commander. They are now waiting for us to get ourselves right so that someday we’ll be together again. Than shall we know how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
All our love and prayers to the family and friends of this wonderful brave soldier, your son, our soldier. Please feel free to contact us at blscott@fuse.net"
Wm & Lisa Scott of Bellevue, KY

"To Ben's mother: I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your only son. May he rest in peace and may you find comfort in knowing there are many many of us who will never forget the sacrifices of soldiers like Ben. Thank you for raising such a fine American hero.

-Mother of a 304th soldier who was there that horrible day in Ghazni, Afghanistan"
Glenda Chavez of Sacramento, CA

"TO Benjamin's family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for our country."
F.Smith of Pennsylvania

"Hey Ben. Happy Memorial Day. I know we had lost touch after getting stationed in Georgia but I'm glad that we had a chance to talk last summer. I'll never forget the good times at West Point a couple years ago. It was great fun, largely in part to you. God bless you and your family. You are definitely one of the great guys that made Aco 41st the best...We love you sweety!!!"
Heather Ayers (former aco wife) of Chattanooga TN

"Happy Memorial Day,Ben. Your gathering was so sweet, so wonderful, so you!!! It was good to be with your Mom, Jeanie, all your family and friends, and smile more. You always are so in our hearts. Jeanie did a wonderful job of painting your Unit/BTL emblem, and the handprints surrounding it we all did, were a touch of added magic, that you gave to all of us, showed us every single day. We could feel your love, your arms, your spirit so present, around us.
I'm remembering you today with love, pride, thanks. You touched so many people, more than you will ever know. I know you are smiling that amazing smile, and living in our hearts forever.
Love you, miss you so much...
Brandi Hawver of Ellington, CT

"Dear Ms. Gilman:
My daughter went to school with Ben. Her name is Wunneanatsu Lamb, now Lamb-Cason. She is married to a fine young man in the Service. We both have fond memories of Ben. Ben would come over to visit often when we lived on Liberty St., as his cousins lived upstairs from us. He allways came with a huge smile on his face. I remember him as such a polite well-mannered young man, at the time I think he was around 13 years old. I remember thinking how refreashing it was to know a young man that was such a gentleman. Ben liked to hang out in the kitchen, and I remember one time I was making meatballs, and he picked up some of the raw meat and ate it! I grossed out, and he just laughed at me and shot that huge smile of his. The last time I saw Ben was around 2000. I saw him at the mall and when I asked how he was doing, he informed me that he joined the service. He was so Proud of that! And I was so Proud of him and proud to know him. He was a fine boy that grew into a fine man and our lives are better for knowing him.
My deepest condolences for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine the loss you must feel, but know that we all send out our prayers for you and for Ben."
Erin Lamb-Meeches of Meriden, CT USA

"Ben-we will never forget the time when me and chrissy were hangin wid you at the park, you ur rollerbladin n you fell on your face lol it was a great laugh and im glad i got to know you ur a great guy good luck wherever you are i love you and miss you so much:-*"
Starr Duffany(LiL SiS) and Chrissy Blasco(Friend) of Watertown and Dexter New York

i wish you were here to celebrate your birthday with us i miss you so much and i love you R.I.P we all miss you..
Ben u were a great brother to me and i love you so much and miss you alot..I wished this never would of happened..R.I.P benny boy...Love Ya Big Brother!!!:("
Starr Duffany(LiL SiS) and Chrissy Blasco(Friend) of Watertown and Dexter New York

"Ben- i dont kno you all that well but from what i knew about you, you were a very caring, nice and funny guy, you were there for anybody that needed you and very outgoing i hope that wherever you are your haveing the time of your life you will be forever missed and i hope i get to see you again in tha after life..You were great to starr and a great brother to her and scott.....I LOVE YA:-*"
Chrissy Blasco of Dexter New York

"Greater love hath no man that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.God bless you Benjamin"
Sarah of ky

"Happy Birthday Benji, I can't beleive that we are 29 this year. Hope you are having a great day and time for your birthday where you are at. I'm sure that you will party the night out with everyone up there with you, especially with my dad. You rock Benji. Love Ya Babe."
Dawn of Florida

"Happy Birthday in heaven, my dear sweet Ben. I know you are shining bright, looking down upon us all, your family and friends...surrounding us all in your love, smiles, and light.
I look forward to celebrating all that is you Saturday, among friends and family. I feel your presence every day, You're always in my heart, my life, forever and always.
I miss you so much, love you Ben, proud soldier, man, friend.
Love, Brandi"
Brandi Hawver of Ellington, CT

Happy Birthday. I love you and miss you very much. Wish you were here to celebrate."
Love, Aunt Karen of East Haven, CT


Ben u were always there for me u are my big borhter and that will never change.I dont wanna believe ur gone but in my heart i kno you are but u were brave and did what u had to do.I will always remember you as my older brother and you will never leave my heart there will always be a spot in there for you big brother. I will never for get the time we had, the talks we had and the fun we had it was a BLAST..I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU ill never forget you bro.

You will always be remembered and loved by me.I love you and miss you ben."
Starr Duffany(LiL SiS) of Watertown N.Y

"Standing in silence, amongst the graves
Hanging at half-staff Old Glory waves
The gun salutes slice through the mid-day
As those who've gathered, bow heads to pray.
The bugle sounds a sad somber tune
For the lives of Soldier's lost too soon
Men and women who answered the call
Serving their country, giving their all.
Caskets draped in the red, white and blue
Honoring our Heroes brave and true
Courageous souls willing to defend
Their beloved nation to the end…
The occupation of a soldier has meaning beyond comprehension
The job that they do without contention
The lives of our soldiers' is a lifelong test
And the lives of their families one would never guess
To protestors, think of them as you stand in the streets and jeer
Think about who and what has given you the freedom to be here
It is our soldiers who stand up and fight
The heroes that gave you the voice to say "it's wrong" or "its right"
Through deployments and war our soldiers go
Into situations that we will never really see or know
The military family sits in fear and they wait
Waiting to hear of their hero's fate
Why do we send our soldiers to strange lands to fight?
So, we, as Americans can speak freely by day and sleep safely at night
The soldiers and their families live life, sometimes hard to bear
But they do it for the good of their country and people everywhere
As you stand in the streets holding your signs
Think of those soldiers approaching enemy lines
Think of the dedication that keeps you free
So that even you will never be subjected to what he can now see
He is ensuring your freedom and your right
To a voice and a sky that is not lit up at night
I think we should take time to give thanks everyday
To the men and the women who have given us the freedom to live our own way
I choose to support our soldiers who endanger their lives to fight
And to protestors, it was soldiers who gave you that right!
Ben, I miss you,
a great friend more than anyone knows
It’s still so hard to understand.
But some things in life,
are rotten and just unfair,
because if they weren't,
you would be standing there.
We were just right together,
like all of the best teams,
a friendship built on trust,
hope, excitement and dreams.
But everything for a reason,
even though its not that clear,
but your spirit is with us,
you will always be near.
just know you'll always be with us,
yesterday, now and for evermore.

Ben we love and miss you so much!!"
Audra of Watertown

You were always like a brother to me. You were always there for me and the rest of your "rugrats". Everyone here misses you. I can't change what happened to you , but I wish I could. Your everyones hero. Everytime you came over we would wrestle and I "wouldn't even break a sweat", because you were so easy to beat.LOL. I love you and miss you."
Your Cousin (Little Brother), Pete of East Haven, CT

"Ben, you were mine,jen,melissa and amandas guy. You were always here for us since we were little. You always looked out for me and told me that even b4 u left u couldnt wait to come and see me. i knew your darkest secerts and you knew mine. Like you and your mom, me and you also had a really strong bond. You always said i was a "Mini" you, and im proud of that. I was waiting for the day when you came home and we went to the mall like you promised so i could find you a girl because i always had to approve of them (hah). I'd give anything to have another day with you Ben. This isnt fair what happened, but always remember your MY biggest hero, and i will never ever forget you. Im sure your watching over me right now, and dont worry i wont beat up to many annoying girls.
You were the only real guy in my life i trusted.
Your my guardian angel. You still shine brightly.

I love you and I miss you so much!"

"Dear Ben, my American Hero, it's almost 3 months and I still can't believe that you're gone. I only knew you for a short time, but you quickly became family. You promised me that I didn't have to worry about you and that you were going to come home. We were supposed to hang out when you got home and cause trouble together. I'll always remember you. Rest in peace our fallen soldier. You're forever in our hearts. XOXO"
Liz Rahardjo of East haven, CT

"EVERYTHING we have in this country, every freedom, every bit of security, all of it is owed to soldiers like Benjamin Gilman. You read below the postings of his friends and family and you can see just how special he was and the wonderful people who raised him to be so. My family thanks him and all of them from the bottom of our hearts for his noble soul. God bless you all."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Ben you were like my big brother, what am I saying you were my big brother. You were the best thing that ever came into my life. You, Snoopy, Bushy, George, and Jesse, you guys were the best things that ever happend to me. Everyday I think about the good times we all had and I remember all the times at taco bell, dennys, and the mall. I miss you alot and I think about you everyday. I love you Ben and I want you to know you'll always have my heart, my whole heart and nothing less because thats how much you meant to me and no one and I mean no one will ever add up to you. I love you hunny and I can't till see you again someday. MUAH xoxoxoxoxox!"
Ashley Durant of Watertown, NY

"Benji; You were the son I never had and I will love you for ever.You and my girl's have been together from day one and you helped brighten up their lives not to mention what you did for me. I love you Ben and your always be in my heart for ever.Will miss you greatly.Your mom did an excellent j0b raising you."
Aunt Mary of Holt,, Fla.

"Dear Gilman Family,
Our family also feels your pain as we have lost a son and brother in the same explosion. It is hard to mend a broken heart. We are here for you if you want to talk. Our heroes will live on forever.Our hugs and love to you all. SSG Shawn Clemens was our son. They will all be greatly missed. Please contact us."
Candace Clemens (mother) of Allegany, N.Y.



Even though the people of Afghanistan may never realize it, they owe you their lives. Even though it is of little consolation to your family, having known you I know that you died doing what the United States asked you to do and what the Afghanistani people needed you to do. And for that the United States also owes you, but that still does not seem to justify the price that you paid.

You will be missed at the table at Denny's with Droopy and Jeff.

Rest In Peace"
Ric L. of Watertown, NY

Its so hard to believe that you are with uncle alan and grandma now. It hurts so much but the memories will make me stronger. You are My Hero!! and my angel!! I have always looked up to you and wanted to be as brave as you. Ben I love you and miss you soo much. But you are in a better place now!! I will always remember your smile and the love you gave to me. You are my older brother!!! I will still be waiting for you to come to my house and surprise me like you always did!!! I love you forever and always!!!!!!
Your cousin a.k.a. Rugrat"
Amanda of East Haven,Ct, USA

There are no words to describe how much I miss you. You were like, or should I say, you were my older brother. You helped take care of me as a child and was there for me and my sisters. The impact you have made on our lives never could or never would be forgotten. I never wanted you to go to Afganistan, but you told me you would be fine. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of you. Everyday I wish it was all just a bad dream and you can come home. We had so many plans for when you were to come home. I would give anything to erase what happened to you. I love you and miss you my hero, my Guardian Angel."
Your cousin (RugRat), Jen of East Haven, CT

I've watched you grow from a 5 year old boy trying to wrestle me down or wanting to play sports everytime you seen me, to become someone I am very proud of. Even before January 29,2004, you were my 3 daughters hero. They look up to you so much. Now they have another angel to watch over them and guide them in their lives. We love and miss you very much."
Uncle Sal of East Haven,CT

"“Deepest condolences to the Gilman Family” My husband is still in Afghanistan and shares memories of Benjamin. I was touched by your website.


You may ask why they choose this path.
They're getting paid to fight.
For what is good, wrong and right.
They leave their families, and their wives.
Kiss the kids, and risk their lives.

They leave their home and take with them,
Silent prayers of family.
They know the dangers they will see.
They pray on bended knee.

You don't ever see them for what's deep inside.
The pain, the anger, or many tears they've cried.
For you, for me, and others in fear.
Seldom a "Thank You", do they ever hear.

If you could look at their heart, just once.
You would see, their own life is the gift given to you and me.

There's no routine or certainty,
That brings comfort with each day.
They strive to make our homes a haven,
Safe from harms way and fear.

So with your family, shed a tear
For all our heroes, and keep them near,
In our hearts forever."
Wife of a hero of Toronto, Ontario

"Ben, You are so greatly missed, but will never be forgotten. You were a great person and made every one that knew u feel special. Thank you for making such a sacrifice."
Stacy Hankey of Waterbury, CT

"My heart aches for your loss. Thank you for raising such a brave son who fought for the freedom of this country. It is heroes, like Benjamin, that make me say the pledge with pride and sing the National Anthem with tears. He died so that my flag flies high and free. May you rest in peace, sweet boy. May your family find comfort and peace in your precious memory."
Christy Harris, wife of a soldier of West Point, NY USA!

"To the Mother of of Ben,
I am sorry for your loss. From what I hear your son was a great guy. My brother went to Kosovo and Aghanistan with Ben. He is still in Aghanistan and he wants to reach you when he comes home in May to give his condolences. If you would like to communicate with him, email me at Starbright416@aol.com"
Luciana of Little Neck, NY

"Dear Gilman Family:
I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Adam Kinser who was also killed in this explosion. I will never forget what your son did so that we could be free. He is a true American hero. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.God Bless."
Jessica of isleton,CA

"For Benji, not too many called you that. Only friends and family. I remember you trying to learn how to do the electric slide dance in the middle of winter with ice on the sidewalk in front of your apartment building and our moms were laughing so hard at us. You lit up my day every time you were around. I will miss you greatly, Benji."
Dawn Denton of Baker, Fl

I think of you every day, as I pass by the huge American Flag that is so big, whipping in the wind...at the car dealership. I am reminded again too of your sacrifice, as I saw on 60 minutes, the men and women's lives who were sacrificed in Irag and Afghanistan. I wear your pin with pride, for you, for all.
Love, Brandi"
Brandi of Ellington, CT

"To Ben's Family,
Words do not express the deep sense of loss and sadness you are feeling. I was a friend of Robert Cook who also died in this explosion. Each day I try to remember his laughter. His family is very dear to me. Think of the good times and keep God close to you heart."
Candy Knutson of Poynette, WI

"My condolences to Ben's family. I served with Ben in the 317th Engr at Ft Benning including a Recon Plt, NTC, and Kuwait. He was a hard working soldier. Please contact me if his family would like some photos that I have of him in them. (tigerpaw_79906@yahoo.com) Ben, you will be missed. De Oppressor Liber"
SSG Koba

"Ben you were the best man I have ever known, I want to say thanks for all the good times that we were able to share. I know you are in a good place now and I know someday I will see you again. I am always thinking of you day in and day out and I miss and Love you very much."
Brandi of watertown, new york

Your name is written in the stars, in the heavens, forever. You are everyone's angel now, just as you were in your earthly life.
Our high school years were so fun, went by too fast. I'll never forget bowling, homeroom, that "million dollar smile," and just the incredible, caring person you were.
Thank You for all that, and God keep you ever so close in His care, as you did for so many others. You made the ultimate sacrifice...I'll never forget you, I'll miss you always...always in my heart.
Brandi (Gorley) Hawver"
Brandi Hawver of Ellington, CT

Thanks, for all the good times at Denny's, movie night at the drive-in, and for the life you gave, you'll never be forgotten."
'Droopy' of Watertown, NY

""RIP Brave Solider. You are now the beautiful star we see shining bright at night in the sky.""
The Taylors USMC of NC

"Rest in peace brave soldier!"
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Thank you Benjamin Gilman, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Benjamin Gilman:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Benjamin for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Benjamin Gilman:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Benjamin, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on