Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Capt. Benjamin D. Jansky

28, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Jansky died in Al Taqaddum, Iraq, when his HMMWV was accidentally struck by another military vehicle. He was assigned to the Army Reserve's 983rd Engineer Battalion, Monclova, Ohio. Died on July 27, 2005.

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"Ben was my cousin Judy Finch's son. Sadly, I never knew Ben, but reading these comments makes me know what a wonderful man he was. How tragic his death is. On this Memorial weekend, and every other since I learned of his death, I remember him and think of his wife and girls with love. He had so much life ahead of him. So much more to do. I know his mother would have been so proud of him. Rest in Peace, Ben."
Alma Finch Saale of St Charles, MO

"I never knew Capt. Jansky. But I know how much he meant to his father after meeting him at a Cubs game on the Rooftops this week. Benjamin was born on July 4, 1976 - our nation's Bicentennial and thus his father named him after Benjamin Franklin. He was an engineer and felt called to serve his country after 9-11. Thank you for your service to our country and may your daughters feel your strength and presence always."
Chris Padgett of Louisville, KY

"CPT Jansky and I served in TQ together. I saw him every morning and we would talk about our kids and families and share jokes. My duties in Iraq and Cpt Jansky's platoon was to ensure that they received their logistical supply requests and submit supply orders for hard to acquire items. He always made fun of me, calling me the Queen of the barter. I made fun of him for being a cheesehead. Aside from the jokes, I can never remember a times he was ever discouraged or unwilling to take on a challenge. He always put others before himself and his needs; always a revolving topic about how he wanted to ensure his platoon took midtour leave before requesting his own. He wasn't the commanding and assertive type of officer that most would associate with in a leadership position. But he was a gentle, easy to talk to, friendly, happy-go-lucky Soldier who cared about everyone even when they did not reciprocate and he NEVER harbored resentment. I was absolutely devastated and heartbroken when the medics came to tell me he was killed in an vehicle crash on the FOB after leaving the chowhall. I did not believe them and it was only when I went to mortuary affairs did it sink in. To the family of Cpt Jansky: I want to express my deepest condolences for your loss. Though I can not ease your pain, please know that I thank you for allowing us the opportunity to know him and to call him our brother."
SSG Sherry Mohr of Defiance, OH

"I worked with Ben just one summer at the Day Camp. He was more mature and responsible than the rest of us kids working there. I was 17, and he was older, engaged even. But he took an interest in me, and in trying to help me avoid the drama of summer camp relationships. He looked out for me, as I was only 17 and was easily influenced by the 20 something's working there. Like the big brother, but he didn't have to be. I have always appreciated his honesty with me, and his looking out for me. He was a man with strong character and a big heart."
Colleen Lill of lake Villa Il

"Just thinking of you and your family on this memorial day. I was a specialist under you in the 377th... seems like an eternity ago. You were always good to me and everyone in the unit. May god bless you and your family."
Mark Ganey of Milwaukee, Wi

"CPT Jansky will continue to be missed. I miss you and your sense of humor. To the Jansky family--stay strong! *We served in OIF together with 983rd."
CPT Darrell L. Williams of Milwaukee, WI

"LT as I used to call you, now CPT. You were truly a great person to work for. You were always there for everyone, kept Soldiers on their toes, went the extra mile. The day I heard you have passed away I felt a sharp pain in my soul. I broke down and fell to my knees in disbelief, as I prepared to go over and you were soon to be home with Kate and the girls. I remember us wrestling in the Gym in Germany on AT, we would sneak away and chill from the drama of people whinning how bad they had it on AT. You sucker punch me all the time, when I wasn't looking, then I would get you back somehow. It was all fun and I enjoyed our time on earth together as friends. May God send your spirit to look over Kate and the girls.

Kate I pray for you and the Girls and I hope that all is well with."
Ron Ranew of Tallahasse, FL

"I want to say I am sorry for your lost and hope that every thing is working out for you and your family."
Paul Jansky of Whitman, Ma.

"Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County and CLC is holding our second annual Memorial Day Ceremony at CLC in Grayslake, IL in honor of our "fallen soldiers". We have purchased a brick with Benjamins name, rank and date on it in honor of his services. The ceremony will be on Friday, May 22nd, 2009. All family members and friends are welcome to join. For more information, please email me at veterans@lakecountyil.gov. It would be an honor to see you there."
Sherry Kruse of Waukegan, IL

"I unfortunately have many regrets in my life,and thats only because deep down I wish I could have done things differently.Very few of those things have stuck with me as much as the fact that I feel like it took me entirely to long to come to this place and write this message to a very good friend of mine.Its funny how we live life.Some of us go everyday not thinking about tomorrow and what it might bring.I think we tend to get so caught up in personal problems or even the everyday routine and it takes away from our since of selves.I was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 3 at the same time as the then 1st Lieutenant Jansky.I am shamed in a way to say that he and I never really had a extensive dialogue until I discovered he would be in charge of my platoon and even then I didnt think for a second that he and I would have anything in common.I always thought that he and I came from different worlds and therefore had little chance of having anything in common other than the fact that we served in the same company/battalion at the time of our deployments.One thing did stand out to me though.We all had our reservations about both the war and what it ment for our lives,and the nature of our mission in that far away place called Iraq.Id like to think I was a pretty observant soldier and was a great judge of character.I noticed about this young man that there was a certain amount of optimism,honesty and lack of fear towards hard work that I always thought was rare in a man.My friend Captain Jansky would make sure that we stuck to our plans of doing Physical Training even though we froze in the bleak weather of winter in Indiana.We went through more and more long lines getting our paper work done,recieving shots,and just crossing the T's and dotting the I's and yet there he was with that positive vibe.I think everytime I asked him how he was holding up I never got negetive feed back,even if everyone was tired and just not in the mood for proccessing toward deployment.For every long line I was in he was in those same lines and visibly trying to keep moral up.Both ours and his.

I grew to know him more once we reached Iraq.As it would turn out.He would become my neighbor in the housing we were provided.I think he could have picked a more convienient street to live on but he definately was the kinda guy that wanted to live among the soldiers and share in their reflections.

We once did something so trivial as changing a tire together for what felt like forever.The intresting thing I noticed was that Ben never asked anyone in the motorpool to do the work for him even though he could've.He just pulled it in and rolled up his sleeves.

He once went out of his way to make sure I went on leave as soon as possible.Everyone had already had their paper work turned in and the flight would be leaving in a matter of hours.If it werent for his dedication to me the average soldier I would have had to have waited days and perhaps weeks to catch another flight.

I think we must have had 20 converstaions about the television show Family Guy which was probably his most favorite dvd to borrow during his down time.We knew it so well we would always walk past each other and quote lines from the show.

From talking about how jealous I was that he had a pantry full of snacks in his house neighboring my own.Or from the lifts he would give you if he saw you looking for a ride to the chow hall.There was never a moment where he wouldnt do what he could for his soldiers.

I had the honor of serving at his service in Iraq.I think that service and his life taught me that they're so many larger priorities in ones life aside from self.To love my family and to value the fun of life,and hold it as long as I can.

Those are just a couple of things that this average soldier dicovered about a man that went out of his way to do his best and be his best.He was a soldiers officer as they say,and that reflected in his performance and its something in him I will never forget.I consider his family and the people that knew better than myself,very lucky people.God bless."
Specialist Adam Rucker of Huber Heights,Ohio

"June 15, 2008
To the family of Capt. Benjamin D. Jansky:
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

"To the family of Cpt Jansky,
I was probaly the last one to talk to Ben before he was killed. I was the Parts clerk for the Support Batallion that Ben daily would come and see. He often. I always gave Ben the opportunity to use my computer to email his family. I am truly sorry for your loss. But know this because of his belief in God and his example as a christian he was called to take his post at God's side. God Bless your family. If you need anything please email at jason.hall@jocogov.org"
Jason Hall of Olathe, KS

"To a good officer, a great soldier, and an even better man; we miss you sir. Thanks for all you have done for us."
SGT Andrew P. Buckland of 501 MI BDE, Seoul, ROK

"CPT Jansky was more than just a soldier. He was a dedicated father and family man. He was also part of the 983d weekly officer's pray meeting in Tikrit. Great soldier and man !!!"
CPT Chris Smith of B Co, Ar Ramadi, Iraq

"Ben Was A good man
every night id find him watching a movie of his wife and kids. During our time in iraq I lived next door to Ben, he would allways invite us over for drinks and snacks ext.. Once in a while i would drive him around the FOB. I rember one time while driveing we took video footage for his daughter. The video was a present for her birthday.
when i found out that he was gone it was a complete shock i am so sorry for the loss of a great family man."
Rob Winkelman of Whitehouse,OH

"To the Wife, children, family, and friends of Capt Benjamin Jansky. My name is Cpl Mark Taylor. I was the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. I have struggled with the memories of this tragedy for a long time. I want you to know how truly sorry I am for your loss. If ever you need anything feel free to send an e-mail. taylor_3133_mike@msn.com Once again my deepest sympathies are with your family for your loss."
Mark Taylor of Tonganoxie, KS

"To the wife and children of Ben Jansky. I was "Jansky's" Company Commander. Jansky was a very nice person who was always looking to laugh and have fun. Jansky was a very versed in his field. For this reason, he was put in charge of the detachment in TQ. I knew he and "10-letter" would do a great job with the troops. I recently met with the troops who were with him in TQ after one year, and they stated the same. The were glad to have served with Janksy. Your husband and father always made me laugh. He knew my personality, and like so many others I suppose, he played into it. I can tell you that when we talked alone, he and I would talk about our little loved ones and wife. He truly did love his wife and kids as I do. That is what struck me as really hard was thinking about his two little girls growing up without thier fun daddy. But as I always knew growing up that my dad was looking down and taking care of me, I am sure the same will be for Jaksy and his daughters. God bless the Jansky family."
CPT Mickey Joe Avalos of Swanton, Ohio

"CPT. Benjamin Janksy is remembered by me as a good friend, religious man, outstanding Ordnance Officer, good athlete, devoted father and husband. Every one of us that knew Ben can remember where we were and how we felt when we received the news. Not only did it affect every soldier in the 983rd Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) but numerous people throughout the United States. Benís love for Kate, Emma, Rayna, and God was noticeable in everything he did. I often think of the experiences we both faced and how we worked together, developed a bond, and served our country.

Kate, I know you and the kids are Benís greatest love and I hope you can find peace."
1LT Ryan L. Stegeman of Springfield, IL

"To the family of CPT. Benjamin Jansky. CPT. Jansky was a great man, that I had the opportunity to serve with in OIF III with the 983rd ENGR BN. He will not be forgotten, and I will always remember his smile and his singing during Sunday morning worship. You will always be in my prayers. God Bless."
SGT. Tonya Davis of Toledo, OH

"To the family of:Benjamin D. Jansky 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"

"Just visited the Antioch HS website tonight to see what was going on there. I was checking things out from the school that I attended for 3 years before I moved. I couldn't believe what I saw, Ben, a soccer teammate had fallen in Iraq. My deepest condolences to the Jansky Family."
Ryan P of South Bend, Indiana

"To the Family of CPT Benjamin Jansky:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 8/25/05, 119 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Benjamin's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at arlingtonmidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to come to visit Arlington MidWest if you can. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

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

"To the Family of Ben Jansky,

You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I went to Junior High & High School with Ben and just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I was sad to hear the news that this happened to him. God Bless you all."
Lori Miller of Lake Villa, IL, USA


You truly have my deepest sympathies. I'm very sorry that I have never met you or your two girls. I first met Ben in ROTC at UW-Oshkosh, and we worked together through college. Of all the people I've met in my life, I can easily say that he was one of the kindest that I have ever met. He had a great heart and wonderful soul. I hoped I would never find someone I knew on these pages, and I hope it never happens again. All I can tell you is that the world is a lesser place without him. I know that your family and his family are taking care of the three of you, and I hope some day you will be able to look back and only remember the happiness you shared together in life, and the knowledge that he left us with honor and true selfless service."
Frank Cull of Silverdale, WA

"To the Family of Capt. Ben Jansky,

He is a true hero. I know that there is no comfort in your loss. But for me and my family we honor you and your family for the greatest sacrifice any one can make. God's word says that no greater love is that a man lay his life down for another. I'm am sure that God has said, "well done, good and faithful servant".
God bless and thank you.

The Ottolino family, Antioch IL"
Frank Ottolino of Antioch, Illinois. USA

"God Bless the family during this time of terrible loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you and the 983rd."
Patricia Dulany of Springfield, MO

"To the family of Benjamin Jansky,
We offer our sympathy and prayers for your family. May God comfort you in your loss.

Words can't say enough.

From the family of
Sgt Bradley Pardi
983rd Engineer Battalion, Lima OH"
Kathy Pardi of Oakland, Illinois


Thank you for serving our country with bravery and courage. You will be missed by all of us, although we look so forward to seeing you again in Heaven.

I'm going to miss playing Jenga with you on New Year's Eve, and eating Pop Tarts will always make me think of you."
Mark Habeck of Oshkosh, WI

"The Salute

To those who have died,
And to those who have cried.
We Salute You.

To those who have lost,
Paid the ultimate cost.
We Salute You.

And to those who still serve,
The Red White and Blue.
Our grateful Nation,
Proudly Salutes You."
Tom Balstad of West Warwick RI

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"God's blessings on Benjamin's family and friends. He will NOT be forgotten!
My prayers are with you. Thank you for raising such a fine man as your son.
May God bless you and keep you in his arms."
Candy of Poynette, WI

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 Jansky Family, I read about your Benjamin in anysoldier.com and wanted to offer to you my deepest condolences. Your Benjamin is a true American Hero. Benjamin will always be remembered and honored. We are praying for all of you. May God Bless you and God Bless Benjamin."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Thank you Benjamin Jansky, 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 Capt. Benjamin Jansky:
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 Capt. Benjamin Jansky:
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