CAPTAIN BENEDICT J. SMITH
Jake Sirota wrote to tell us about his cousin, Capt. Benedict J. Smith. In 2003, Ben was piloting a Black Hawk helicopter over Tikrit, Iraq that was shot down by a shoulder-fired missile. Ben was one of six soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division who died in the resultant crash. A memorial airfield, “Captain Ben Smith Airfield,” was recently constructed in honor of Ben’s service outside his hometown in Monroe City, Missouri.
According to Ben’s sister, “He once told mom that he knew he could be killed but that, if he died in the helicopter, he would be happy.”
In honor of Ben Smith, and all service members who have died in the service of their country, we salute you.