Plymouth soldier dies in Afghanistan

Staff reports

A Facebook page created last week to solicit prayers and support for Army Spec. Benjamin William Sherman, the 21-year-old paratrooper reported missing in action in Afghanistan on Nov. 4, now serves as a tribute to his memory. 

Sherman's sister Meredith confirmed to the media late Tuesday that the Plymouth South High grad's body had been recovered. He joined the Army in 2006 and deployed for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in August. His wife, Patricia, a 2006 Plymouth North graduate, is expecting their first child in March. The couple recently purchased a house near Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Defense declined to confirm Sherman's identity for reasons of operational security. But the nearly 3,400 people who had joined the Facebook group by late Tuesday in support of the search for the local soldier quickly spread the sad news as they changed their messages of hope to offers of condolence and remembrance.

Here is the WCVB Channel 5 video report.

The Associated Press reported late last week that two American soldiers serving with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, had disappeared in western Afghanistan Wednesday after a routine resupply mission in the Bala Murghab district of Badghis province.

An Afghan official reported the two soldiers jumped into a river to retrieve boxes that had blown into the water when dropped from a helicopter. AP also reported that 25 NATO and Afghan security forces members were wounded during the search mission for the pair.

Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, however, the string of posts on the Pray for Benjamin Sherman Facebook page quickly turned from hopes and prayers for his quick return to expressions of grief and condolence when Sherman’s sister Meredith Sherman Sturge wrote: “Rest In Peace Brohan, I love you so much. My heart’s broken..."

Besides his widow, Patricia, and his sister, Meredith, Sherman is survived by his mother, Denise Sherman, and his grandmother, Barbara Richmond, both of Plymouth; his father, William Sherman, of Fairhaven; his father's longtime girlfriend, Denise Gaudiello; and his sister, Jessica Santos, and grandmother, Adele Sherman, both of New Bedford.

The family reports the soldier will be buried in Plymouth.

Here is a link to family statements made to WCVB Channel 5.

Leave your message for Sherman's family on the Pray for Benjamin Sherman Facebook page.

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