Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Air Force Senior Airman Benjamin D. White

Remember Our Heroes

Air Force Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, 24, of Erwin, Tenn.

SAr White was assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; died June 9, 2010 near FOB Jackson, Afghanistan, in a HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash. Also killed were Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael P. Flores, Air Force 1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz and Air Force Staff Sgt. David C. Smith.

Family members of Senior Airman Benjamin D. White of Erwin say he worked by the motto "that others may live" in his job as a part of an Air Force pararescue unit in Afghanistan.

Anthony White told WVLT Volunteer TV News on Thursday night that his son was always a pleasure to be around and frequently put others before himself.

He was a four year veteran of the Air Force and deployed to Afghanistan just six weeks ago.

White also told us that Benjamin served as a medic with the 48th Rescue Squadron, which is tasked with flying into combat zones to pick up and treat wounded Marines.

“He was just an exceptional human and I am proud of him,” said his father. “He had a tattoo on his back that said, ‘greater love hath no man than would give his life for his friend.’ That is what my son did. He was the bravest human I’ve ever met."

Curtis White, his grandfather, told The Johnson City Press on Friday that he had a feeling that Ben was aboard when he heard that a helicopter had been shot down.

"He was an awful good boy," White said. "He always wanted to go to the Air Force. That's what he set out to do, and that's what he did.

His sister-in-law, Ashlee White, said his role as a medic involved flying into dangerous areas to rescue the injured and wounded. "He loved it," Ashlee White said. "He said he finally felt a sense of purpose — that he was doing what he was supposed to do."

Ashlee White said her brother-in-law prayed for family members though he was the one serving in Afghanistan.

"When he talked to my husband, he wanted to make sure everyone was OK here," she said.

Air Force Senior Airman Benjamin D. White was killed in action on 6/9/10.

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