Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Army Pfc. Benjamen G. Chisholm

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Benjamen G. Chisholm, 24, of Fort Worth, Texas

Pfc. Chisholm was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Aug. 17, 2010 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device caused a military vehicle rollover. Also killed was Army Pvt. Charles M. High IV.

When Benjamen Chisholm enlisted in the Army -- as an infantryman, no less -- it surprised absolutely no one who knew him.

"He called me one day and said, 'Guess what I did?'" said his grandmother, Annie Reynolds. "'You enlisted,' I said. He said, 'Yes, I did.' I just knew."

He had made no secret from about the fifth grade on that he saw himself wearing a uniform as a grown man. He participated in Junior ROTC in high school and the Young Marines, too. "That was his dream," said his mother, Linda Reynolds.

Pfc. Chisholm's dream ended early in his career. The 24-year-old Northwest High School graduate was killed Tuesday in the Kunar province of Afghanistan when his military vehicle rolled over after a roadside bomb explosion. Killed at the same time was Pvt. Charles M. High IV, 21, of Albuquerque.

Both men belonged to 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, part of the storied 101st Airborne Division.

Pfc. Chisholm's mother, who lives in Fredericksburg, said her son was manning the 50-caliber machine gun from the turret when the explosion flipped the vehicle.

Pfc. Chisholm shipped out for Afghanistan in late May, his first deployment. Just two weeks before, he had married a fellow soldier, Spc. Amber Ferguson, who left for Afghanistan shortly after that. They were assigned to outposts about 80 miles apart.

After meeting his body at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Ferguson returned to Texas with Linda Reynolds on Thursday. They are planning his services in Fredericksburg through Schaetter's Funeral Home.

Pfc. Chisholm was born in Silver Spring, Md., and spent most of his early years in Colorado and Utah. He moved to Flower Mound in 1998. He attended schools in Flower Mound, but when the family moved to Haslet, he attended and graduated from Northwest High.

Before enlisting, his mother said, he wanted to get to know his father better, so he moved to Oregon for a few years. He returned to the Fort Worth area in 2007 and enlisted in the Army the next year.

He took very little in life seriously. His family compared him to actor Jim Carrey, always ready to make people laugh with a comment or facial expression. Two of his friends in the Fort Worth area -- Josh Wahlen, 25 and Emily Clarkson, 21 -- agreed that he was fun-loving but was deeply committed to joining the service.

"I would rather give my life for my country than let some other man die because I wasn't there," Clarkson said he had told her.

Because he loved to volunteer at the Rocky Top Therapy Center in Keller, which provides equine therapy for disabled people, his mother asked that donations be made there in his name.

Pfc. Chisholm's very last post to his Facebook wall, made on August 14th, reads as follows:

"i miss my family sooo much i hate that im not there to see my little bro drive for the first time and i probly wont get to see my lil sis graduate not to mention hanging with alyssa she is freaking funny i miss and love yall"

Army Pfc. Benjamen G. Chisholm was killed in action on 8/17/10.

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