Benjamin James Slaven

Died: Fri., Jun. 16, 2006

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Army Reserve Spc. Benjamin "Ben" James Slaven, 22, Beatrice, died Friday June 9, 2006 in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. He was born March 20, 1984 in FortLewis, Tacoma, Washington. He moved with his family to Utah then to Beatrice at the age of 2 living in the Beatrice, DeWitt and Plymouth areas. He attended CedarElementary School, BeatriceMiddle School, TriCountyHigh School and obtained his GED from SoutheastCommunity College. He joined the United States Army where he was serving in Iraq with the 308 Transportation Company, Lincoln, NE. He was a member of St. John's LutheranChurch, Beatrice. He enjoyed playing video games and restoring his 1946 Dodge pickup. He loved to visit his Grandpa and Grandma Slaven in Texas.

Survivors: mother, Judy Huenink and husband Nick of Plymouth, NE, father, Bruce Slaven and wife Julie of Beatrice, NE; sisters, Nicole Slaven and significant other Andrew Landon of Beatrice, NE, Pfc. Misti Slaven of Fort Bliss, El Paso, TX., Chastity Laflin of Plymouth, NE; twin brother, Sean Slaven of Beatrice; grandparents, Bev Malchow of Beatrice, Charles and Marcelle Slaven of Galveston, TX, Jean and Jack Johnson of Pensacola , FL; step-sister, Miranda Smith-Huenink of Henderson, Iowa.

Preceded in death by: grandfather, Armin Malchow; sisters, Angela and Jennifer Frerichs, aunt, Mary Nispel

Funeral: Tuesday, June 20, 2006, St. John'sLutheranChurch, Beatrice, Pastor David Kramer and Pastor Joann Kramer, officiating. Burial will be at the EvergreenHomeCemetery, Beatrice. Family prayer service: Tuesday in Church. In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established to the family with the mortuary in charge. Military honors by Army 320th Ordinance Battalion and Nebraska Army National Guard. Closed casket visitation will be Monday from ; Tuesday from until at the funeral home and at the church one hour preceding services on Tuesday. A guestbook is available for signatures and messages of condolence online at www.harmanwrightmortuary.com Harman-Wright Mortuary in charge of arrangements.

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EDGAR GRIFFIN AND FAMILY
   Posted Fri June 16, 2006
John- 3-16
FOR GOD SO "LOVED THE WORLD,THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.. OUR THOUGHT AND PRAYS ARE WITH THE SLAVEN FAMILY AS YOU GO THROUGH THIS HARD TIME.

Cory Lee Cannon
   Posted Fri June 16, 2006
SPC Slaven was always there for everybody in the 308th Transportation Company and put a smile across everyone he meet. His loss is deeply felt here as I know it is back in Beatrice, Nebraska.
God Bless

Dick and Barb Averett
   Posted Sun June 18, 2006
Ben served with our son 2nd Lt Cris Averett at Camp Adder. We know what it is to be proud of our sons and constantly worry about their safety. Cris said that Ben was one of the nicest young men in the unit and they all mourn his loss. Please accept our condolences and prayers.

shelly johnsen/bsdc 106kb 1st
   Posted Sun June 18, 2006
I only knew your son thru work at bsdc but it was quite evident that he was a caring and compassionate person. I could see this in his day to day efforts at work. He was very proud to be in the military and was eager to go when he was called to active duty.when he had a job to do he did it with everything he had and with no second thoughts.Ben is a son that every parent could be proud to call a son.My heart goes out to you and your family in this time of sorrow. May gods arms wrap you and hold you in this time of sorrow.shelly johnsen dt3 106kb

Carol & Kent Cunningham
   Posted Sun June 18, 2006
Ben touched many hearts and lives.He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.Although physically he can no longer be with us,spiritually he lives on in the hearts and minds of all who loved him.Ben will never be forgotten and our love for him will never die.Ben made us all proud and was truly a HERO!May God grant comfort and peace to his family and friends during this difficult time.

Charlet Nichols
   Posted Mon June 19, 2006
Sounds like Ben was a great guy wish I could of known him. My heart goes out to all of you. No words can express the sorrow that I feel for you. Ben is a hero in my book and he died for what he believed in. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and coworkers as well. Take Care and remember that he is there in your heart. Here is a BIG HUG for all of you.

Charlet Nichols
   Posted Mon June 19, 2006
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

God Bless your family !

Kathy Hartmann
   Posted Mon June 19, 2006
Our family sends our deepest sympathies to Ben's family and friends. We will keep you in our thoughts and in our prayers. God bless you all. Kathy Hartmann
( I have a son going back to Iraq for his 3rd deployment and I have a son in law in Iraq on his 2nd deployment. My nephew served one tour of duty in Iraq. My brother is retired from the NE National Guard. He served in Bosnia.)

Dezi Ebbers
   Posted Mon June 19, 2006
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss...our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Love,
Dezi, Dave, and Brayden

Lin
   Posted Mon June 19, 2006
My family just wants to say how sorry we are for your lost. I knew Mr. Slaven when I was very young and also knew Ben was I was younger. I am now a military wife and I know the fear you may of felt everyday. But I cant imagine how much pain your family is going through now. Your in our thoughts. Always remember and cherish him.

Phyllis Peterson
   Posted Tue June 20, 2006
To the family of SPC Slaven. Please take comfort in knowing that your son was an honorable young man serving his country and making the ultimate sacrifice. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers at this time of your great loss. I know there are no words that can take away the pain you are experiencing. Please know that all the families of the 308th are there for you if you need us. My son SPC Brandon Rieke wanted me to send his regards to your family and wanted you to know that Slaven was a real Hero.

Bro. Joseph Dugick, O.S.B.
   Posted Wed June 21, 2006
To The Family of: Benjamin James Slave:

My name is Bro. Joseph Dugick,O.S.B. Iam a Monk of Mount Michael Abbey in
ELKHORN,NE. we the Monastic Community,Faculty,Staff and Student Body would
like to offer our deepest sympathies to you and your family at your loss of
your son and brother" Benjamin James Slaven" please except this prayer from
us and May God Bless All of you at this time of your loss.

I Said A Prayer For You Today

I said a prayer for you today
And know God must hve heard----
I felt the answer in my heart
Although He spoke no word.
I didn't ask for wealth or fame,
I knew you wouldn't mind.
I asked Him to send treasures
Of a far more kind.
I asked that He'd be near you
At the start of each new day,
To grant you health and blessings
And friends to share your way.
I asked for happiness for you
In all things great and small,
But it was for His loving care
I prayed the most of all.

And again May God Bless all of you at your loss
From,
Bro. Joseph Dugick,O.S.B.
Mount Michael Abbey
22520 Mt. Michael Rd.
ELKHORN,NEBRASKA 68022-3400
JDUGICK@HOTMAIL.COM
1-402-289-2541 ext. 1117



--

Dick Averett
   Posted Thu July 13, 2006
Our son served with Ben. Here are some of the comments he made in his email to us about Ben:

one of our soldiers was killed by a roadside bomb about four weeks ago. his name was specialist benjamin slaven, and he was about as pure and decent a man as this world has ever produced. as a society we tend to deify the dead, overlooking their shortcomings and overstating their positives, however this kid was a genuinely good person. dedicated, selfless, hard-working, likable, kind. there is a mile-long list of fitting adjectives to describe this soldier whose life ended in an instant.
he was twenty-two years old, and had been in the army reserves for nearly a year-and-a-half. a member of my own originating unit, the 320th ordnance battalion out of lincoln, nebraska, he was cross-leveled into the 308th for this deployment as a motor transport operator (truck driver). that day he was top gunner on a convoy escort vehicle, moving through the central-south of the country. the bomb, a particularly lethal variant of the improvised explosive device, was targeted specifically to his position. it detonated as designed and he was struck and killed instantly. he did not suffer.
the suffering is left for the rest of us. his family, friends, fellow soldiers, leaders. it is unbelievably difficult not to spiral into a cycle of grief and rage. like every soldier here, i am angry. i burn with hatred for the person, or persons, that did this to him. that took him from us.
my father, easily the wisest man i have ever met, had this to say before i left for war: don't lose your humanity.
damnably tough as it may be, i shall heed that advice.
aristotle spoke of catharsis. the need to relate tragedy and misery in order to purge strong emotions. i apologize if this e-mail has been at least fractionally as difficult to read as it was to write, but please know that it has helped somewhat.
i have attached a couple photos of specialist slaven, plus a small memorial. ben had the superman logo tattooed on his arm (he said the "s" was for "slaven"), and this simple memorial was created for him. the first photo is him just being...well, just being himself. the other is him posing as the "war analyzer." man, he was funny kid, sometimes just walking around making cat sounds for no reason. he brought a healthy amount of warmth and silliness to this sometimes dark place.
please look at the photos of this genuine american hero. please think of him, his family, his friends. please pray, if you're so inclined, and keep him in your heart. please hug the stuffing out of your nearest loved one. please thank heaven and earth that people like ben slaven are willing to live and die for our way of life.

-cris



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