Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Sgt. Benjamin C. Edinger

24, of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Edinger died at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, from injuries received as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq on November 14, 2004. He was assigned to 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on November 23, 2004.

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"I never got the pleasure to meet Ed. My son was one of his platoon members that fateful day. My son,Matt, was the "Doc" that got to him first. Matt loved Ed like his real brother. My daughter, Alisha, went to Camp Legune the summer she graduated from high school to visit her brother Matt.. She fell in love with Ben and was hartbroken when she had to come back home to alabama to attend college. As I think about Benjamin Edinger another Memoral Day, I honor him by writing about him on my facebook page. I never knew him....but my children loved him, so I loved him too! May God continue to watch over his mother, Rose.... Forever in our hearts! My son is still in the middle east, doing contract work. He and his wife are living in Aaman, Jordan. He has Ben's name tattoed on his side...Rose,if you see this..please friend me on facebook..Matt would love to get in touch with you.."
Phyllis Benavidez of Summerdale, Alabama USA

"I will forever remember Benjamin Edinger. He's a visual mural in my thoughts always, being the first in his chain of command to sign his lateral move to 2nd Recon. One data Marine to another, I asked Benjamin "Are you sure this is the fight you want? Without hesitation, he replied, "Yes it is, within my heart that's where I belong, data isn't challenging to me." I knew at that point, his heart consummated any fear of joining the front lines to fight for his country. This is the first I've spoke of it, but his face has never faded from my thoughts, not one day! I recognized that Benjamin was the first Hero I knew personally as a Marine and trained with before his journey to Recon. His warrior spirit cemented his valor in the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Semper Fidelis Benjamin, never forgotten."
Scottie White 3rd MLG, Okinawa Japan of San Diego CA

"I served with Ben in Okinawa. He was a really nice guy and a dedicated Marine. I'm so sorry for your loss."

"To the family of:Benjamin C.Edinger
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""

"I check myself, thinking about you at the times when things are the hardest. I.always remember you would want whats best for me, and for me to never give up and try my hardest. Its almost been 8 years and it still feels like yesterday. Youll never be forgotten in my life or heart. Love your baby sister. Your my hero. I love you and miss you."
Vanessa taylor delebreau of Green bay wisconson

"I remember you fondly as my patient during my tenure at Bethesda. My prayers to the family this day and I wish for yall to know that he is never forgotten. God Bless"
Your corpsman of Baltimore

"we love you ben , you will not be forgotton . we miss you =/"
yourr closest family <3

"ahhhhhhhhh we love youuuuu ben :)"
his fam BAM :D of greeen izzle

"I am a former servicemember who was present in his room the night he passed. It my distinct honor to serve him and care for him and I still remember the love his family showed him. I think about him and I always keep his family in prayer. God Bless and Semper Fi."
of Baltimore MD

I learned of your story while watching Combat Zone on the Military Channel. Despite being wounded, you kept on fighting until you were medevaced. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"This isn't very poetic but your death really sucks."
Some Dude of Green Bay, Wisconsin

"Nov. 23, 2008

Today marks the fourth anniversary of your death, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you Ben.

I have your picture on my desk at work, and you are alway there for me when I need encouragement.

God bless you and keep you."
Uncle Denis of La Crosse, Wis.

"November 9, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Benjamin C. Edinger:
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

"Sgt Edinger,
May you rest in Peace. I wear a Memorial Bracelet with your name on it, its got a few scratches but I try to take care if it and I NEVER take it off. I have worn it ever since I heard of your passing. I looked up your name in the Awards Board. I read about the incredible things you did before you died. The Marines lives you saved. The sacrifice you gave fighting for your Marines. I honor and respect you as a true Warrior, and a true man. When we served together in Okinawa and I heard that you were going to the Recon Indoc, I knew you were going to do great things. Your name is still written on the ruler that you had in the vault in Okinawa. For a while, I kept it in my desk. I just wanted to keep it safe. Semper Fidelis, Brother. God Bless."
MSgt Jason E. Cooper USMC of 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA

"I was a communicator with Ben at 2d Force Recon. I remember when he checked in to the unit in 2002 to work on computers with dreams of becoming a recon Marine. Before I got out of the Marines in 2003, I was asked by the company XO to extend (which i declined) so I could go on the deployment that Ben was subsequently killed on. Ever since I heard about Ben's death in 2004, a day hasn't passed that I haven't thought about what would have happened if I had agreed to go on that deployment. Maybe I would have been the RTO for the team that Ben was in and not him and maybe I was meant to be in Ben's shoes on that fatefull day. These events have helped influence me to both become a police officer and continue my military service on a part time basis."
Charlie Panek of Lowell, MA

"Sgt Edinger was my roommate when I first arrived in Okinawa, Japan while station with 3FSSG G-6 on Camp Kinser (2001). At the time, he was a LCpl and I was a Cpl. Nonetheless, he was an amazing person, extremely dedicated and courageous. I remember him telling me stories of how he always dreamed of becoming a Veterinarian back in Green Bay.

He will always be in my prayers."
Cpl Loving - USMC, Veteran 98-02 of Fairfax, VA

"Nearing the anniversary of Ben's death, we are ever grateful for Ben's loyalty, friendship, leadership, sevice to our country, and most especially, his great sense of humor. Ben was a real person , full of life and energy. We will will never forget him."
Sherry and Val of Green Bay WI

"Ben was my stepbrother and the thing I'll always remember about him was his sense of humor. He was just a great guy to hang out with because He was always smiling. I will NEVER foret you Ben. God Bless!"
Dan Badillo-Beyer of Milwaukee, WI USA

"Ben was my stepbrother and the thing I'll always remember about him was his sense of humor. He was just a great guy to hang out with because He was always smiling."
Dan Badillo-Beyer of Milwaukee, WI USA

"Not a day goes by still that I don't think about you Ben. I feel nothing but awe when I think about what you did in the Marines and with your life. I only hope that the sacrfices that I have made in serve are enough to live up to in your eyes.
You are NEVER forgotten."
SGT Frank Badillo-Beyer, US ARMY National Guard of Green Bay, WI

"Sgt Edinger was my roommate in Okinawa. He was a great guy who did great things. He will be dearly missed..."
Leighton Amaki of Kalaheo, Hawaii US

"Dear Ben,
I saw your Granfather today. I don't know his name, but I will never forget the photograpgh he was carrying. It was a picture of you in full military dress, upright and strong, with a solemn expression and the most haunting eyes. I leaned toward him and commented about what a handsome young man you are. Your Grandfather stopped what he was doing and explained that you had died in Iraq. When I finally lifted my gaze from your photograpgh, I saw that your grandfather has eyes as revealing as yours. Although I could see the depth of his sorrow pooling there, I was transfixed by the pride and awe in how he spoke of you. I again looked at your picture,and saw not simply a handsome young man, about the age of my daughters looking back at me, but a hero. I don't believe that that are words that can express the gratitude I feel for your service to our country, nor is there a way to thank your family for the sacrifices they endure. Because of you, my precious daughters can live in safety and enjoy freedom. My daughters are living the American dream. The youngest is in high school, swooning over the boys in her class, getting giddy when prearing for a formal dance and is ecstatic that she was accepted into her first choice college. My middle daughter is enjoying life as a college freshman, living in a dorm,pledging a sorority, and even attending class on most days !! My oldest daughter is focused on her future, studying hard and plannning to marry her boyfriend soon after graduation. You Ben, gave your life so that my children may live...that they may know peace on our soil, and they may dream of a promising future, that they may express their faith in the God of their choice and you have given them the promise of a world that will be a safer place for their own children someday. God Bless you Ben and thank you. I will keep you and your brave family in my prayers.Heroes all are you! Godspeed"
Susan Wise of Largo, Florida

"I had the honor of caring for him after he passed in Bethesda. Please know that at all times he was treated with honor and respect. I want to let you know Benjamin, you have a special place in my heart. As I read all the great things written about you I am sad that we met in death rather than life. But with all these kind words I know my heart is not the only place that you live. Rest in Piece Marine and know that we are here to stand the watch."
Anonymous of Maryland

"i want the family of ed (as i called him) to know that im sorry for their loss. there's never a day that goes by that i dont think of him. we got extremely close in the 2 months we knew each other, talking for hours out on matt, my brothers, porch!! and i couldnt wait for him to return with more stories to tell me ( he wrote me at least 30 times to tell me how he was doing & stories & his philosophies!)! i miss him dearly, & cant wait to meet you, his family. god bless."
Alisha Benavidez of Livingston, AL USA

"To the Family of Sgt. Benjamin Edinger:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 6/20/05, 111 crosses. We would like your permission to put Sgt. Edinger's name on a cross. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for your loss. If you would like us to do this, please email martypres33@yahoo.com.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them." Anonymous"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"To the family of Benjamin C. Edinger:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

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

"Ben was a dear friend of mine since childhood. Ben was definitely a man of conviction. He knew what he wanted and he would do whatever it took to obtain what he wanted. He was very proud of what he was doing as a Marine and of the person he became as a Marine.
Ben will certainly not be forgotten. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him. I feel fortunate that I was able to call Ben a friend. Ben and his family will forever remain in my heart and thoughts."
Katie of Green Bay, WI USA

"Dear SGT. Benjamin Edingers Family,
Ben was my husbands SGT. at Camp Lejeune, NC before he went into the special operations. (When he was Comm. Chief.) Ben was not only his senior marine but also our dear friend. When Ben left the first time for Iraq we held all of his personal belongings for him. He used to come over for dinner and to have my husband help change his oil. We have so many fond memories of Ben and we are so sorry for your loss. I just thank the lord that he touched our lives the way he did.

Ben was such a dedicated marine and friend. He always spoke of his family and said that he hoped to have his own some day. He used to say to me that when he married he wished a wife just like me. It broke my heart so bad when we found out that he had passed. Last I heard he was in ICU but recovering.

I just wanted to let you know that he loved all of you so very much and always spoke very highly of you. I have no idea how you're feeling but I hope that you know that you are not alone. Ben will never be forgotten or lost in our hearts and memories. I pray for you in your time of grievance. God Bless You All."
CPL. & Mrs. Christopher Smith & Family of Roswell, NM

"Benjamin Edinger was my nephew. Thank you all for your kind words. More than anything else, Ben was proud of what he was doing in service of his country. And while he will always be remembered for the way he died, let us also not forget what a loving, caring, gifted spirit he was. God bless you and keep you, Ben."
Denis F. Downey of La Crosse, Wis.

"There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Benjamin C. Edinger,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Benjamin, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To the family of Benjamin,
God's blessing to your family.
Thank you for raising such a fine young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom. If you ever want to talk my email address is crk9551@hotmail.com"
Candy of Poynette, WI

"Thank you Benjamin Edinger, 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 Edinger:
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 Edinger:
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