Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Benjamin A. Smith

21, of Hudson, Wisconsin.
Smith died near Baghdad, Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on November 2, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Benjamin A. Smith.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Still miss you my son."

"Thinking about you today Ben"

"Ben,upon your shoulder you wore a black shield with an eagle head. This represents a unit of heroes. You were struck down by an unseen foe who did not possess the courage to meet you face to face upon the battlefield. Now you stand a new post as a guardian of heaven guarding against all evil. May the eagles who went before you give you guidance and help you take flight. As your uncle and also a former member that same division (101st. Ann. AASLT.)I think of you often. I only wish I was there instead of you. You were too young and had a bright future ahead of you. May God bless you and watch over you. One day I will come to relieve you from your post. CURRAHEE! WITH LOVE,UNCLE MICHAEL. C CO. 1/506th Inf. 101st Abn AASLT. P.s. Take care of grandma"
Michael Quandt of monroe, michigan

"Ben its been a long time since we got to hang out, you and my brother were best friends our sisters were best friends and me and Orion were best friends, I remember hanging at the high school football field and playing football (when we weren't supposed to Ha! You were a great kid and I'm so sorry to know you aren't with us anymore. I will never forget you. God Bless Ben"
Jeremy Pivec of Chippewa Falls, WI

"They got Bin Ladin. A victory of significance that Ben would have celebrated. Fireworks and a Beer!"

"Ben, It has been 5 years and 13 days since you've passed. I miss you man, Im going to do this GWOT until my final breath and/or it's final curtain call. I love you brother!"
SSG Mabuyo, Sonny P of Fort Irwin, CA/ USA

"Too long
Too long
Since you've Ben gone
Love you my son"

"Ben was great. I knew him since our days in middle school yet I never had a class with him till senior year where we had like 5 classes together. He used to come over to my house in 7th/8th grade and we would have bb gun wars. I stopped inviting him because he would always win!haha. He would sit in one spot and wait for the enemy (me) to get impatient and move in. Then he would be waiting with a textbook ambush. I knew he was good because I was the bb gun league champion shooter at the time and I couldnt for the life of me decipher his stratetgy.He was destined for the military. We got along good, especially when he would wear his "Bush country" t shirt to school just to irritate the more liberal minded students and faculty.His loss was hard to take but I always remembered him as a man of his word and I know he would've went there regardless of what would happen. At the very the least, his sacrifice could help future soldiers take up his role, enlist and help win the wars. I know Im trying to join up. Thank you Ben."


"we will celebrate your birth. and our contry on the fourth. take care of your grandmother. with love!"
terry &tammy

"Ben- I miss hanging out with you and Kevin and learning to let go and just live free. You taught me how to stop worrying about all the little things and enjoy life as it is. I am glad I was able to learn to laugh with you guys and just be free. WE all miss you and think of you today for the sacrifice you have made so that we can continue to live free. Thank you Ben. I miss you. Till we meet again."
Amy of SLC, UT

"linore, jim thinking of you. sending all our love."
tammy terry & girls

"Ben, I miss you and Andrew so much. You two always made my work day so much better. I'd give anything to have all of you back."
SSG Lueck of Ft. Benning, GA

"always on our mind.missed more then we could ever say."

"It's your Birthday today, my son. Rockets will fly for you."

"There is no peace,just emptiness where you should be doing and being. Miss you so. Still feel unbalanced."

"Thank you James. Glad you're home safe."

"hey ben its james i miss you dearly man its a night mare to me that you are gone i think about you every day . i wish you was here with all of us now and i cant wait till the day we all get to see you again . i just got home from iraq man and i swear to you I GAVE THEM NO GOOD PIECES OF * HELL FOR WHAT THEY DID TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. i will see you soon man rest in piece .James"
Spc James Ingle of Ft Story va beach

"November 2, 2008
To the family of Spc. Benjamin A. Smith:
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

"Smith I miss you"
Swink of Basic, Airborne, NC, Lots of places we visted

"Lenore I am here if there is anything I can do you know you can write or call me.. ok promise...."
tanya of momwithwings1963@yahoo.com


"Please tell me who is missing his smile? I'm just curious but glad to know you're out there thinking of my Benjamin. I would appreciate hearing any stories just so I can have a little more of him."
Ben's Mom, Lenore

"Hey, I was just thinking of that 4th of July a couple years back. The one with the random party, fireworks, and Dishner passed out!? I miss you man."
Sgt. Dang, Gary of Los Angeles, C.A.

"missing your smile"

"does anyone have any pictures or stories they would like to share of Ben please email me at tancsarmy@yahoo.com
thank you. I am wearing Ben's bracelet from inourhearts.org in his memory and honor and to carry on his spirit...."
Caree Klecker of Luther IA

This is for you. It's Dang. Dude..To this day I can't believe you're gone. I can only imagine what it its like for your family. I have a spot for you on my Myspace page, and I look at it everyday. I think of you all the time, especially when it gets quiet. I think of the old times. The "CRAZY" times. God...What I would give for all of hardrock to have one more time together. I miss you. Say hi to Waits for me. I know you two are having fun up there. They never COULD keep you two apart huh...hahahaha. Much Love! -Dang"
Sgt. Dang, Gary of (A-co 1/502) L.A., C.A.

"Ben this is lanisha Franklin and i didnt know you very well and on day in class i was assigned to write a short story about you but may you rest and peace and maybe i will meet you in the kingdome of heaven"
Lanisha Franklin of Milwaukee Wisconsin

"You gave you life so we could be free. Rest in peace."
Patricia Lyndsey of UK

"missing your smile."

"today there are greater american than benjamin who left all that had in america and went to fight the enemy on the otherside of earth to defend the great name of this nation and the stars on a late summer night light up the sky but bens light was greater than both day and night and those time during high school some where in time i am sure you can remember him walking from class to class are on friday nights and so many great days under the sun for ben and his memory is like history from its rear view he stands tall and he be rememberd for all times like all the one who battled long before him and the one long after him and them after them and i hope all the best of luck in life to all his family and friends forever..peace out buddy."
eric flores of barstow california

You have served our country so proudly. You took the steps that i couldnt even imagine. We are here everyday praying for you. We love you so much!"
Chris Quandt (cousin) of New Smyrna Beach, FL

"Ben, i think of you and Andrew everyday. i just want you to know that i have planted a 12' blue spruce in my back yard. it just happens to be a twin tree from the ground up and i call it my "ben and andrew tree". it is the most beautiful tree i have ever seen and it brings a smile to my face whenever i see it. i can just see the two of you out there with it getting into some mischief.

i miss you guys so much.
all my love, D."
Waitsmom--D, of Waterford, MI/USA

"To the family of:Benjamin A. Smith 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"

"Thoughts are with you... 11-02-06
Hugs Tanya"


"Smith, I put you in that assignment and no one is to blame but me. I am sorry and i think of you every day"

Thinking of you .... Tanya and Colton"

"To the Family of SPC Benjamin A. Smith:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq. Our memorial includes, as of 8/28/06, 162 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. A friend has put us up on his website so you can see the memorial here:

"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

"Lenore, I wish I could make up my mind one day I am going and the next day I am unsure, I guess I will just have to wait unitl the day is here and see how I feel about it. I keep trying to weigh it out thinking okkkkk what would the boys want me to do and well Josh was ALWAYS A LAST MINUTE KID so guess it will be at the last minute, I just pray they make it home safe. I know with our 3 boys at there back PUSHING THEM HOME THEY WILL BE FINE!! We have to be there for each other so you know my number call me BIG HUGS TANYA"
Tanya Bush

The rest of the guys will be home in about a month. I hope they all make it home safe. I have kept in touch with a lot of them through Myspace.com and have become very close with several. It has been very hard these past four months. The only thing that keeps me going is I know Andrew and Ben are togeather and I will see them again. This is only temporary. I did try to e-mail you but I don't think it worked. You can reach me at
Waitsmom2@aol.com. I think of you all the time and pray you are doing better than we are. Take care.
Waitsmom--D, of Waterford, MI/USA

"I did not forget July 5th I just have no words, this young soldier would have been 22. Hugs Tanya"
Tanya Bush of Mo.

"Mr. Smith, Words will never be able to take the pain of your loss away, I only want you to know that we are thinking of you.. today was a pretty tough, and I will never understand your pain. All I can do is let you all know that we are here for you. I just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you NOT JUST TODAY.. but always... The Bush Family Steve,Tanya,Austin, Alysha and Colton Munger ....6-18-06"

"To Benjamin and your loving FAMILY,
This MEMORIAL DAY is going to be diffrent for alot of us. See Josh would love to go "Fishing,Boating,he loved to take Colton Fishing. Well ya know it was a FOUR DAY WEEKEND! LOL But even with all this going on, Josh in his own way payed his respects! So now things are diffrent and we are Paying RESPECT TO BEN,TYLER,JOSH and the rest of the fallen and our VETS. But sure as OUR FLAG FLYS EVERY DAY IS MEMORIAL DAY FOR OUR BOYS. IT WILL FLY FREE !!!!!!
Thinking of you always.... Alysha Colton Tanya "ma" Steve Austin "MUNGER-Bush"Family"
"Munger-Bush" of Centerview MO

"To my adopted son/Andrew's brother Ben: It has been six long months since I learned of your death. As you know, we have now lost Andrew, your brother, also. When he was home in march/april he had a cross tatoo on his arm with your name placed in the middle of it. He never got over your death. When he spoke of you on leave he had a faraway look on his face. It was as if you two were connected again, if only for a moment. We went to Andrew's memorial at Ft. Campbell May 10. I visited your and Andrew's rooms. They were so empty. I visited Dunbar Cave and retraced your names that you guys had written that day in Sept. Spc. Foust reassures me that he will retrace your names when he gets back in Sept. so deep that they will last as long as that cave stands. I miss you and Andrew so much. I am in so much pain over the two of you being gone from my life. I know the two of you are together in heaven and pulling pranks on everyone in sight. Please watch over the guys in 1/502 Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, 2BCT. They need your help to keep them safe and please bring them all home. To your parents, I have always considered Ben one of my sons and now I have lost both of them. God, please help us through this pain."
Diane Waits Waitsmom--D, of Waterford, MI/USA

"I know this message is coming kinda late but I just found this site. I am one of Andrew K Waits best friends. I only met Ben once but he was so much fun. I can remember how funny he was and how much I laughed that night. I know Andrew was so devastated and we are all devastated from losing him. But, we have found comfort in knowing the guys are together again. I hope you are doing well. Take Care"
Jaime Rousson of White Lake MI

"to Ben, its been 6 months and it still feels like a bad dream. I am still not sure what exactly happened but do know that I miss you and Josh and Tyler. I gave you guys the hardest job on the team. I picked all of you because I believed in you all. I thank you so much for everything that you did and gave. Know that I would trade places with you in heart beat if I could....your memories will not be forgotten. RIP"
Sgt. Cory C. Collins of Ft Campbell, KY

"To the family of Benjamin. I know I should have done this along time ago I just did not know what to say. It seems that words do not come as easy for me as tears do. I have found that we all grief in very diffrent ways and we all have to fine a way to go on it just seems that it is easier some days and not at all on others. I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND A HAND AND HUG TO YOU on the days you cant go anylonger know that I am here for you. See Josh left us that day also, altho I did not give birth to that child I loved him just the same and gave my daughter to him on april 27 against what his or my family's plea was. Please just know that we have ask about your family several times thru the base but just did not know how to aproach you and only you know when the time is wright so I am here for you if you ever need to talk, a hug, to cry or just visit about our boys. Please know I think about you all always. When Colton and I say our nighty nights we always include you and the other familys that are in pain along with those who are still serving that Josh,Benjamin,Tyler had to leave behind that day. I also THANK GOD for the LIFE HE SPARED SGT COLLINS. Thank YOU and take care. Feel free to write anytime momwithwings1963@yahoo.com or spcmungermothernlaw@yahoo.com"
Tanya Bush of Centerview,Mo. USA

"To Benjamin's Family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in our prayers. Benjamin, you sir are a true American Hero. Thank you Benjamin, for all you have done in Iraq and in your life. God Bless you Benjamin and God Bless your family."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"To the Family of SPC Benjamin Smith- my son is one of Ben's friends who is still in Iraq and I know how much James liked him. Our hearts are saddened for your family and we pray that God will bring you the healing peace that will help you through. We honor and salute your son for a job well done and we pray that you will all be reunited in heaven some day. Until that day May God bless and keep you, make his face shine upon you and grant you peace."
Brenda K Downs of Hillsboro IN/USA

"The Next Room
Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped
away into the next room. I am I, and you are you.
What ever we were to each other, that
we still are. Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way which you
always used. Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes
we enjoyed together. Pray, smile, think of me,
pray for me. Let my name be the household word
that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means
all that it ever meant, It is the same as it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity, Why should I be
out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere
very near, just round the corner. All is well.
~by: Canon Henry Scott Holland~

Gone but not forgotten.
Thank you for sharing your loved one with us,
and for the sacrifice made by you and your family on our behalf.
Proud mom of Lcpl Alex. Currently serving in Iraq"
Patricia of Bishop, CA

"ben was one of my best friends an i will miss him dearly , i think of him all the time an all the fun we had. my heart goes out to his family. ben i know your in heaven smiling down an i will see you some day soon . i love you like a brother man .. pvt James Ingle 2nd infantry division"
james ingle of fort carson colorado

"Ben was one of my best friends. i met him in 2000 when i join CAP he taught me everything i know about the program and made me who i am right now. I will miss ben and never forget him!"
Nick Johnson of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA

"Thank you all for supporting Ben and the job he has done. He is my nephew and, sad to say, I got to know him better after he had passed. What a brave and direct young man. I will always miss him. Please send thoughts of strength for his parents (Lenore & Jim) and his brother (Orion) as they do their best to go on. These words are written with heartache and love for you and Benjamin."
Heather (Ben's Aunt) of La Salle, MI USA

"ben and me went to basic and airborne and then to rip together. it was crazy that we made it to the 101st together. He was an awsome friend and one hell of a soilder. he could always make u laugh, or give u a smile. i will miss him. my heart goes out to all the family of Benjamin. Please remember to smile when u think of him its What he would have waned."
robert of kirkut iraq 101abn div

"I am one of Ben's grandmas, and I can remember as a toddler how he'd cruise by, hold up his little arms and say "hug"...then when he'd gotten enough "hug" he'd say "down" and go on his merry way. He was always a loving child, and became a loving man as he grew up. He was close to his family and loved his country. He is the 3rd member of our family to be in th 101st, but fortunately the first one we lost.
God Bless all these men and women fighting for our country, they are the best we have and I will pray for all of them.
A special thank you to the Honor Guard and contact officer, and the men who presented his medals and the flag. They were professional, kind and all that anyone could ask for. They had a hard duty, which they performed well.
We had a few protestors, but they were dealt with very quickly. May God forgive them.
Ben leaves a large, extended family that will remember him and pray for all the young men and women in service everywhere."
Brenda Quandt of Lincoln Park, Michigan

"To the family and friends of Spc. Benjamin Smith: I want and need to extend my deepest sympathy at the loss of your loved one. Spc. "Josh" Munger was my nephew and as you know, died with your loved one that horrible day that our lives changed forever. I can tell by reading these messages that Benjamin was a GREAT person to be around, a brave and honorable soldier, but above all he was truly loved by many. I honor him everyday and pray for each of you. May his memories bring you strength and comfort in this very difficult time."
"Josh's Aunt Tammy" Hitt of Higginsville, MO

"I am Praying daily for all those Benjamin has left behind. May you all find comfort and strength in his memory I am so very sorry for your great loss."
Jeannie hihoelah of Upton, MA. USA

"I am very sorry about the loss of Ben. He was a good friend and had the awesome ability to make anyone laugh.I will always remember what a good friend he was and the times we had togeather. He never thought twice about helping out when he could. My whole family will miss him dearly.I pary for your family and the rest of us that you had to leave so soon."
rebecca bargeron of FT.Campbell KY

"Ben was a good guy i knew him very well i served with him in his first deployment im very sorry that he passed away he was one of my best friends he was a very good soldier he must have loved his brother a lot cause he aways use to brag on him and his awsome truck that was way better for wealin than his i will always remember him i wish i could visit him once again i was his room mate in iraq last time and i am going back around dec 2 2005 i will know he is looking over me while im there"
Jason Bargeron of Fort Campbell KY

"To the Smith family, I'm SGT Nicholas Olson. I am in the same company as Ben. 1-502nd Alpha company. We were all hit hard when Ben was killed. Waits and Mabuyo took it the hardest. Know that he was a great person in our company. He was a very sarcastic funny guy who could always make us laugh when things got really bad. He will be forever missed and is now one of our brothers. I am sorry for the loss of your son and your brother. Take care and i will continue to pray for you. SGT Olson, Alpha company, 1-502nd Infantry Reg, 101st Airborne"
SGT Olson of Southern Bahgdad, Iraq

"My sadness is overwhelming over the tragic Death of Spc. Benjamin A. Smith. Rest assured that he truly was a Great Dedicated, and BRAVE American, as he gave his all for his Country, And his Family so we could all enjoy a life of FREEDOM.This message is for his entire family, especially Terry Smith who is with the Hendersonville, TN Police dept. My thoughts and Prayers are with you Terry as you go about the long, and painfull precess of the Funeral, and the very long healing process. I am so very thankful for Men, and Women such as your Nephew Benjamin who are fighting this WAR on TERRORISM. May God Bless Benjamin,and his family during this time of sadness."
Carl Meadows of White House, TN

"To The Family of Benjamin A. Smith:
The Lord has come for your son and he is now resting safely in His arms. Your son gave up his life for this great country of our's and I am so thankful for his bravery and service he gave for each and every American. Your family will be in my prayers, as you grieve and miss Benjamin so much.
My daughter is friends with Jeremiah, who was also in Benjamin's convoy, but was not injured. God bless you all!"
Dwayne & Carol Lee of Panama City, FL

"to the family of benjamin a. smith,
i am so very sorry for the loss of your son. i am sure he was a great human being, and a loved and valued family member. we mourn along with you, as our son tyler mackenzie was in the same vehicle with benjamin, and killed also. we will honor your son along with ours as we work thru this difficult period of our lives. please accept our most sincere, and deepest condolence's."
david & julie mackenzie of evans, colorado, usa

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

"God's blessing to the family of Benjamin. He will always be remembered in our prayers. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom. Life goes on but Benjamin will not be forgotten"
Candy of Poynette, Wi


"To the parents of Spc Smith:
My heart weeps with you for one of our own. My son is a Spc/combat lifesaver with the 2/44 ADA from Campbell, in Iraq on his 2nd tour. I spoke with him last week. I can tell you that the arrival of the rest of the men from Campbell was a real boost for those who have been there awhile... to see familiar faces in uniform and feel 'complete' together again. We Mothers know the first 60 days of a new tour are days and nights without peace of mind. Please remember, his brothers honor his memory and service as do every one of the parents whose souls walk with you. Thank you for your son. There are no words.....just let us walk with you. God grant you the strength that will bring you to peace."
E. DeKoster of Crosslake, MN

"Thank you Benjamin Smith, 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 Spc. Benjamin Smith:
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 Spc. Benjamin Smith:
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