Procession through Plymouth on Wednesday afternoon for soldier who died in Aghanistan

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The body of Army Spc. Benjamin Sherman is scheduled to arrive to Massachusetts on Wednesday morning.

A midday procession through town is planned for the 21-year-old Plymouth paratrooper, who died in Afghanistan this month

Roxanne Whitbeck, veterans agent for the town, said Sherman’s family will receive the soldier’s casket at Hanscom Air Force Base at 9:20 a.m.

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders will join Plymouth and State police in escorting the family to Plymouth. Whitbeck said the family anticipates the procession to arrive to Plymouth about 12:30 p.m.

Tracy Deneault, funeral director at Davis Funeral Homes, said the family “would love to see everyone out with their flags.”

The procession will wind past the Plymouth waterfront before heading south to Beaver Dam Road, where it will stop briefly in front of Sherman’s family home.

Sherman, a paratrooper assigned to the Fourth Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, died Nov. 4 when he jumped into a river in western Afghanistan to rescue a fellow soldier who was struggling in the water. His body was recovered a week later. He graduated from Plymouth South High School in 2006.

A funeral is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Second Church of Plymouth, 518 State Road. Visitation would be from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Davis Funeral Home, 619 State Road.

Deneault said final details will be available on the funeral home’s Web site once Sherman’s body reaches Massachusetts.

Full military honors will be given. A military honor guard will participate, along with local honor guards from the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the police and fire departments.

Several comrades from Fort Bragg will travel to Plymouth for the funeral, Deneault said. Because the church seats only 200, the funeral home plans to activate a public address system for mourners gathered in the parking lot.

Sherman’s casket will be carried by horse-drawn carriage to Manomet Cemetery, Whitbeck said.

Whitbeck said Sherman’s family asks residents to show support by flying an American flag, hanging a yellow ribbon, or placing a light in a window.

Sherman’s body was recovered a week after he dived into the river. He and another soldier were on a routine supply mission near the Turkmenistan border, and local police said they were trying to recover airdropped supplies that fell into the water.

Sherman’s wife, Patricia, is expecting their first child in March. The couple recently bought a house near Fort Bragg, where the 82nd Airborne is based.

His mother, Denise Sherman of Plymouth, said in a prepared statement that her son “was raised under the American flag to be honorable, loyal, respectful and courteous. He was strong-willed and has never been a quitter.”

His sister, Meredith Sherman, said she knows “he didn’t jump in because he was trained to, but because that’s what his heart told him to do.”

Sherman is also survived by his grandmother, Barbara Richmond; his father, William Sherman, of Fairhaven; his father’s longtime girlfriend, Denise Gaudiello; a second sister, Jessica Santos, and a grandmother, Adele Sherman, both of New Bedford.

Patriot Ledger reporters Kaitlin Keane , Lane Lambert and John Kelly contributed to this report.