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The Castle Flags will fly at half-staff today.

Castle Honors

This post will remain up top all day.

At military installations, the regulations call for the post flag to be lowered to half-staff during the funeral of a veteran at an on-post cemetery. The Castle, being a digital space, well, we have a global reach, with a physical base. At the New Castle today, the flag will fly at half staff all day, in honor of a funeral being conducted at 10AM at Arlington National Cemetery, with a Denizen in attendance.

Here at the Castle, we make a point of memorializing the war dead who are from Kansas, or from units, active or reserve, based in Kansas. There is one other criteria - the death impacts a Denizen. I get all the notices from DoD, and I'm on the PAO email list for the Kansas National Guard, Fort Riley, and Fort Leavenworth.

They are so simple.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

1st Lt. Benjamin J. Hall, 24, of Virginia, died July 31 in Asadabad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.

For more information related to this release, media may contact the Southern European Task Force public affairs office at 011-39-0444-71-7011 or 011-39-0444-71-8020.

I read it, noted it, and filed it away.

Then I got the note.

John,

Got word from my wife last night that one of our friend's sons had been killed in Afghanistan. His name was Ben Hall and is the son of John Hall, retired IN COL who I worked with at V Corps when he was the Corps IN. John called Shelly to let us know (Sara, his wife, couldn't come to the phone for obvious reasons).

I don't know when it happened and all I know is Steve Speakes is trying to re-do the GO reception schedule at Dover to meet the jet when it arrives (Steve, Ray Odierno, John and I were mutually wrapped around the TF HAWK axle and is why we know each other).

I tried registering on Army Knowledge Online but hit the wall when I tried the "Joint" route (sponsor needed). I don't know where you get your casualty notices used on Argghhh! so is there a way to discreetly get some details?

With this signature.

Thanks,

Dusty

1LT Benjamin John Hall 173rd ABN BDE

Meet First Lieutenant Benjamin Hall (via the Washington Post):


First Lt. Benjamin John Hall followed his father nearly every step of his life. Like his father, Hall was an Eagle Scout, attended Michigan Tech and joined the Army.

Hall, 24, who grew up in Woodbridge and elsewhere, died Tuesday in Asadabad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit in Chowkay Valley, the Defense Department announced.

"He was just my hero," John Hall, a retired Army colonel who lives in Fredericksburg, said yesterday of his son. "Just the type of person he was -- giving, humble -- and he was just the type of guy people were drawn to."

You may read the whole thing by clicking here.

I don't think that says enough about Lieutenant Hall, perhaps for civilians friends and family, but not for we warriors. Dusty provides more.

John,


...I'm waiting to see if I can get some intel on Ben from the USAF folks that may have known him. Shelly wasn't too clear on what happened (probably didn't understand what the grieving mom was describing and it probably got scrambled in transmission anyway) but it sounds like he needed to reestablish lost comm and went outside the immediate defensive position to do it and got tapped. Witnesses say he was probably dead before he hit the ground--full burst of MG fire in the center of mass. The skinny is he was doing something that he'd not ask someone else to do. Kids from the unit are saving their SATCOM air time to call his mom to tell her how much he meant to them. One anecdote: those who have spoken to the family have said how surprised they've been at the level of action in country. He had been on the ground for 70 days when he died and had been fighting almost nonstop since arriving. When his guys were telling him how they'd been not being too specific about that when talking to family, he said, "Yeah, I've been telling my mom it's been pretty quiet here."

Where do we find such men?

Kids from the unit are saving their SATCOM air time to call his mom to tell her how much he meant to them.

That's all I needed to take the measure of Lieutenant Hall.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

Where do we find such men and women? Look around you. There they are. Most of the time you just don't know it until you need to know it.

11 Comments

There are days like this one where I find I just don't have the words. Thank God, you do. Rest in peace, Lt. Hall.
 
Yeah. Me too. God Bless, Lt. Respects,
 
My condolences to Lt. Hall's parents, family and friends
 
BZ and Rest In Peace, Lieutenant.
 
Thanks for being there, Dusty, and thanks for making sure we all know more about your friend's son. It sounds like the Army has once again lost a great warrior and leader.
 
I am at a loss as well. All I have is prayers.
 
"Yeah, I've been telling my mom it's been pretty quiet here." That told me all I needed. MFR, Attn: 162d Fiddler's Green Det -- He's one of us...
 
RIP Paratrooper The 'Herd' has lost an outstanding LT.
 
I'm deeply saddened by Lieutenant Hill's death. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fellow soldiers. God bless him. Ray LTC, USA (Infantry), Retired
 
Saving air time and telling his mom it is quiet. Tells me too, why his mother couldn't come to the phone. That is a son thing to do for a mother he cherishes. You all said it so well.
 
The news releases are also on line at http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/ They are posted after NOK is notified and arrangements made