Pfc. Stephen C. Benish
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When Stephen C. Benish went to Iraq, his mentors at a local fire department took up a collection to ship him necessities such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo _ and cigars. "Being out in the field and not having any luxuries was tough," said Cranford, N.J., Fire Chief Leonard Dolan. "He was looking forward to getting out and coming back and being able to tell us about all of his adventures." Benish, 20, of Clark, N.J., died Nov. 28 in hostile fire while on a foot patrol. He was stationed at Camp Howze, Korea. Benish was inspired to join the service by his mentors in the fire department after the Sept. 11 attacks, his mother said. In high school, the 6-foot-7 Benish wrestled and studied electrical engineering through a county program. His senior-year English teacher, Kurt Epps, said Benish "always had a smile on his face and he never let things get him down for too long." He is survived by his parents, Candy and Stephen J. Benish.

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Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 28, 2005.
Memories & Condolences
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47 entries
November 20, 2017
I would like to inform the loved ones that Stephen is being honored on the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial. For more information please visit
January 5, 2015
RIP Benish, We were in the same unit together at Corregidor and Combat Oupost. Didn't realize we went to the same school together until you passed. You graduated in 02 I was in 94.
July 14, 2013
RIP Steve I hope that was you, thank you for your sacrifice brother.
Joshua Avoil
November 28, 2012
As a former member of this unit (prior to him) - I want to say Peace be with Family and Friends of PFC Stephen Benish, and RIP Brother
SFC Berry
May 27, 2012
May Stephen be in the palm of the Lord's hand this Memorial Day. Peace to his family and all his fellow firefighters.
November 28, 2011
To the family and friends of Pfc. Stephen C. Benish:
Please accept my remembrance of Stephen on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
March 30, 2011
Condolences to the family, may the peace of God be with you.
Rahway NJ
January 14, 2011
Your legacy will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew you and shared in your struggle to protect our country and the ultimate sacrifice you gave so that we can be grateful for what we have. Your family, friends, loved ones and fellow soldiers will stay in my thoughts and prayers.
A Proud Military Mom.
Elizabeth Raab
November 28, 2010
To the family and friends of Pfc. Stephen C. Benish:
Remembering Stephen on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
December 3, 2008
In Memory of Stephen ~ (Debra Estep)
Holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.

The Wind on The Downs

“I like to think of you as brown and tall,
As strong and living as you used to be,
In khaki tunic, Sam Brown belt and all,
And standing there and laughing down at me.
Because they tell me, dear, that you are dead,
Because I can no longer see your face,
You have not died, it is not true, instead
You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe;
I hear you laughing as you used to do,
Yet loving all the things I think of you;
And knowing you are happy, should I grieve?
You follow and are watchful where I go.”

(Written by Marian Allen during World War l )

Two lines that I wish you to keep near your heart…….

“You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe”

I did not know Stephen, but I am remembering
his service and sacrifice. He is my hero. !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Other Side

i'm over on the other side
where life and death softly divide.
left my skin and bones behind
now i'm over on the other side.

can you feel me there with you?
my breath is gone but i'm not through.
loved you then and i still do
from over on the other side.

i can fly. really fly.
below the earth ... all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

it's good here on the other side.
the sweetest songs...the bluest skies.
thank you for the tears you cried
but it's good here on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth...all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side

the world is smaller than a needle's eye.
where life and death softly divide.
when you leave your skin and bones behind
i'll be waiting on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth ... all through the sky.
go tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

Song lyrics by Don Conoscenti
C Desert Muse/SESAC
(Used with permission)

“I hope it brings great comfort to any and all.
Peace on you. DonCon” 4-2008

The Other Side –
(To hear the song)


Deb Estep ~ Ohio
Proud Air Force Mom SSgt Vince – Lackland AFB
Proud Air Force MIL SrA Dana – Randolph AFB

Remembering The Fallen – Blog

Angel and soldier drawing I have shared here.
November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving Day, 2008
To the family of Pfc. Stephen C. Benish:
Stephen gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
July 1, 2008
RIP PFC Aaron J. Ward 4/28/89 - 5/6/08 (KIA)
Stephen, God bless you soldier and thank you for your brave and honorable service to a grateful nation and for paying the ultimate price for our freedom.. You are now in great company with God and so many other fallen hero's before and after you. On 5/6/08 my nephew PFC Aaron J. Ward was killed in action in Iraq and my final promise to him was to never forget him and our fallen hero’s, we will never forget their commitment and sacrifice. Benish family, words cannot express the pain we now share, but our families will forever have a bond and we will be thinking of Stephen and your family and will keep you in our thoughts & prayers. Please accept my heart felt condolences and my prayer that god help you cope with this tragic loss and may the memories of your HERO carry you through each day. From one Gold Star family to another!
Gary Tolle
July 1, 2008
Rest in peace- you will not be forgotten.
So sorry for the loss.
June 30, 2008
may god bless you Pfc.Stephen Benish and smile at you .Your family will be in my prayer
Barbara Joyner
June 29, 2008
The Final Salute

“Brothers in Arms”, Military men and women down through the centuries, have traditionally exchanged “Hand Salutes” as a sign of recognition and as a way to render courtesy and respect one to another.

This “Hand Salute” is the last that we shall render to PFC Stephen C. Benish our Brother in Arms. To his family it symbolizes the love and respect that we have for Stephen. And to Stephen it is rendered as a symbol of honor and gratitude to thank him for the ultimate sacrifice he made in combat while serving the U.S. Army and his country. No greater love is shown than a man lay down his life for another. Stephen, you are a brave Warrior, a true Patriot and a national Hero. With your passing, our Country has lost a National Treasure. We bid you a sad farewell. You will be dearly missed from among our ranks. Be at ease. Rest in Peace.

On behalf of the 1,385 members of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 of the American Legion in Shreveport, Louisiana, I extend our sympathies and our condolences to Stephen’s family and loved ones.

Dennis N. Engdahl, Commander, American Legion Post 14
5315 S. Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109
For the Commander, Carroll R. Michaud
June 29, 2008
Thank you Stephen for your bravery, and for all you did in the name of freedom. I am very grateful, and I will pray for your family and loved ones. May God in heaven bless them all, and I know you are now back home with our loving Father. Rest in peace, and again thank with with every ounce of my being.

In admiration and love to a true American Hero.

Peace to you and your family.

Joanna L. Eubanks
Victorville, CA
Joanna Eubanks
June 28, 2008
Rest in peace and God bless your golden soul.
Henryk Zaleski (USN-Ret)
June 28, 2008
June 27, 2008
Remembering Pfc. Stephen C. Benish and honoring his service.
May God bless his family and friends as they move forward with their lives - we hope that their cherished memories of better days will be of comfort.
Rest in peace Stephen.
Kim Straker
May 24, 2008
To the family and friends of Pfc. Stephen C. Benish, our thoughts and prayers are with you in your loss. What he has done for our freedom will not be forgotten. May God comfort and bless your family.
the Buck family
April 21, 2008
You are remembered and respected. Thank you Pfc Benish!
August 13, 2007
There is nothing that I can say or do to take away the pain or bring you peace in your time of sorrow, but I will offer you and your family my heart felt condolences. I also offer you my prayers that in time the pain will easy and the memories of your HERO will carry you through each day and night. I want to thank your HERO, for his/her selfless act of becoming a member of the armed forces, his/her willingness to defend the United States of America, all that we hold sacred and for the sacrifice that will forever be etched in the memories of all those who knew him/her. Though tears can never bring him/her back, we hope that our tears express our gratitude for the sacrifice that he/she made and our sorrow at his/her passing. I believe for every fallen HERO there is a star shining brightly up above to remind us of the precious gift we were given.

Your mission on earth is complete and you are now a member of GOD’s Heavenly armed forces. Stand down brave warrior and take your rightful place in Heaven with all the HEROES who have passed before.

I made a special promise to LE RON A. WILSON, a dear family friend who joined the Army with three other friends, one of whom is my son (Le Ron was killed in action on 07/06/07 at the age of 18) on the day he was laid to rest as I touched his coffin, that I would never forget him nor would I forget those that gave their lives for our country before him, with him and after him and so when I came across, I thought what a great way to keep my promise to Le Ron, so I will continue to leave tributes in each guest book until the day there is no longer the need to leave these tributes to a FALLEN HERO.


Currently stationed in Germany
Althea Barrett(Queens, NY)
July 27, 2007

July 14, 2007
Thank you for the sacrifice made by Pfc Benish and the sacrifice made by everyone who loves and misses him! May God bless all of you!!
July 8, 2007
With deepest sympathy for your terrible loss. Everyone at Operation Jersey Cares feels your pain. We love and support our troops. Stephen may be gone but not forgotten!
Cherylann Lane
May 28, 2007
Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrows,
We gave our today.
-- The Kohima Epitaph

We will never forget,
NJ Marine Moms
Grace Z
January 26, 2007
Rest In Peace Bro. I love you. Thank you for giving your life. I'll never forget you or the great times we had. I'll see you sooner than later.
William Grimes
November 29, 2006
To the family and friends of Stephen. We did not know him but we are so touched and thankful for his servie and sacrifice. We are thinking of you and your family today and we will always keep you in our thoughts and prayers. From one Army family to another, God Bless you.
Mike and Tara Jones
November 28, 2006
Paying tribute to this Fine Young Soldier, Pfc. Stephen C. Benish, on the 2nd anniversary of the day, he gave his life for our Country and for Freedom. A Multitude of Thanks, for his Courage, Dedication and Service.
Rest In Peace Young Hero, in God's Loving Care and may God's Healing Grace and Comfort continue to be with the Benish family.
Those who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice, So Many and So Young, shall NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
My brother among them. KIA-Vietnam 1967.

Hoping you continue to feel the thoughts of caring and support that surround you each day, as this Country remembers someone very precious to you, who is a Hero to all of us.
I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Garnet Jenkins
October 23, 2006
My son Matthew Lamanna roomed with Benish, the year they were in Korea. They became best friends and Matt is still devasted about losing such a fine friend and speaks about him frequently.
He just started his 2nd deployment, let's keep all our boys in our prayers.
Below is a verse to the hymn "Eternal Father" in order of the 503rd.

Tribute to the Troops

Eternal Father, Stretch out thy hand...
Protect the soldiers who defend our land.
And bid world leaders wars to cease...
Please give us everlasting peace.
Oh see out prayers with folded hands...
For soldiers deployed on foreign sands.

Inspired by the Troops of B-Co. 1503 ID in Iraq
By Barbara Lamanna
Copyright 2005
Listed 6/20/2005
Barbara Lamanna
October 17, 2006
I will never forget Benish for as long as I live. He was so full of life, energy, and laughter that his absence is almost too much to believe. I can still hear the sound of his laugh, followed by that clap of his, and the unique way he said, "Ad." I had a lot of great memories with Benish and I wish I were able to have more. I hope wherever he is he is at peace and finds the happiness he so rightly deserves.
Adam Langheinrich
October 3, 2006
It has been not quite two years since their passing, Stephen, Carl, and Michael. I think of Stephen whenever I think of Michael.

I miss them all, and the 2BCT is redeploying again. (Oct 3, 2006) God be with them all.
Nancy Shackelford
August 4, 2006
Our heartfelt sympathy to the Benish Family, my wife and I did not know Stephen, As parents who lost a daughter, Colleen, Age 26 on September 11, 2001 at the WTC, we share and understand the immense loss and sorrow of losing a child.
Please know that his sacrifice will not be forgotten, and he will remain in our prayers forever, a hero whom we will never forget.
Our prayer is that God’s tender mercy will dry your tears, and that He will comfort you in all the days ahead.
May the Peace of the Lord Be With You, Upon You, and Remain With You Always,
With Love & Respect,
Tom & JoAnn Meehan
Thomas & JoAnn Meehan
July 28, 2006
There isn't enough room on this page to leave the true emotion of what myself and everyone has lost. All that I know is I have lost a best friend and a brother and noone will ever have that part of my heart. I love you Steve and you're always with me!!! May you rest in peace.
David Berube
July 5, 2006
to the benish family may god bless you and i will keep benish in my heart and prayer
sgt castillo johnny
bravo 1/50 maddogs
johnny castillo
February 1, 2006
My heartfelt sympathy to the Benish family in the loss of Stephen. I did not know Stephen, ( I lived in the Easton/Bangor PA area 52 years) but my heart is broken and I am sadden for your loss of such a fine young man and hero. May God bring you peace in your heart as you reflect on all the wonderful memories you hold so close. Stephen, it has been a little over a year since you were taken, but you will not be forgotten. Please know that you are in my heart and prayers.
I send each of you a hug from the most inner part of my heart.
Love and Peace

To live in the hearts
of those you leave behind
is never to die"
~Robert Orr~
Tom Gugliuzza-Smith
November 20, 2005
To the family of Benish,stay strong he was a great 1/50
Anthony Gibbs (55)
November 13, 2005
Just wanted to say Benish was one of my soldiers for awhile in Korea, and I would have to say he was one of my best,he was always willing to do anything, he was a great soldier he'll always be missed, FIRST ROCK!
Jason Steffen
August 8, 2005
Wanda Cobb
May 26, 2005
May 11, 2005

We miss you greatly.

December 15, 2004
My Heart is breaking....Stephen was just so young, but he really did die for a noble cause and even though i did not know him, I appreciate everything he did for our country and its citizens to help keep up safe. For that I will always be grateful. My thoughts and prayers are with the whole family, during this sorrowful time of the loss of your son, brother and friend. I Love You All!

Stacey Baron
Stacey Baron
December 14, 2004
Having to write in this guest book, brings me great sadness.I knew Stevie for the last 8 years of his life.That's how long his Dad and I have been together and he had lived with us for a year.How empty I feel inside, but I do have all of my memories of Stevie.Our lives will never be the same again because of his loss.Nothing feels the same.It is still so hard for me to believe he is gone.I loved him as if he were my own."OUR HERO" is in a better place now.May God give us both the strength we need, to get through this most difficult time.He is so very sadly missed, but will always remain in our hearts every day of our lives.
December 5, 2004
I did not know Steve, I am Cathy Marczak's boyfriend, I commend Steve for his sacrafice and send out my deepest sympathy's to his family. Your son, brother, nephew, died for a noble cause. I hope he finds peace where ever he is now. Again I commend him, to me, he is my hero, along with all our other boys out thier fighting for us. Thank You to him, and again my regrets on your loss.
Daniel Szczupakowski
December 4, 2004
I grew up with Steve. He was like a big brother to me. We lived right around the block from each other and pretty much spent everyday together. I'll never forget the hide and seek games, working on cars along with celebrating each other's birthday parties each year. Steve was a good kid..he always knew how to put a smile on my face whenever I was down. We both have been through so much together and I will never forget all the memories we made to last a life time! When i found out that Steve had passed I could not believe it. I have been crying ever since. It's hard to lose a best friend that you grew up with and knew your whole entire life...Steve I love you and miss you so much. R.I.P. I will continue to pray for you every night. Hope to see you agian soon...My most heart felt sympathy goes out to the family.. Love you all!!!
Love, Cathy M.
Cathy M
December 3, 2004
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of this courageous young man and brother firefighter.
David Krill
December 3, 2004
My sympathy to you and yours. You do not know me or my name but I am Helen (Benish) Jasper's daughter. Therefore a distant cousin to Steve.

I am sorry for your lose.
Georgette Jensen
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