Benjamin H Neal

ORFORDVILLE – Cpl. Benjamin Harold Neal, age 21, of Fort Bragg N.C./Orfordville, was reborn on April 25th, 2012, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan while proudly serving his country.

Benjamin was born at St. Clare Hospital in Monroe, to Donald and Trisha (Ahrens) Neal on Aug. 20, 1990. He graduated from Parkview High School in 2009, where he was active in Wrestling, FFA, and 4-H. On June 16, 2009, he proudly entered the U.S. Army reporting to Fort Benning, Ga., for Basic Training and graduated from Airborne School. Cpl. Neal was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., and began his first deployment to Afghanistan in January 2010. Benjamin was united in marriage to Emily Blaxill on Sept. 2, 2010, in Fort Bragg, N.C. Benjamin enjoyed his time spent with family, music and the outdoors, especially the woods behind the home farm.

Cpl. Neal’s military honors include: the Purple Heart, NATO Medal, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.

Benjamin leaves behind his Brothers in Battle; his wife, Emily Ann; his mother, Trisha (who he always stood up for); his father, Donald; siblings, Bradley, Becca, Brendan, Brooke, and Bridgette, all of Orfordville; grandparents, Norm and Donna Ahrens, and Harold and Agnes Neal; father-in-law, Ray Blaxill, mother-in-law, Julie Blaxill; brother-in-law, Jon Blaxill; aunts and uncles, Mindy (James) Brancamp, Kris (Kirt) Hoscheit, Georgia Erickson, Keith (Julie) Neal, Chris (Kerry) McCartney, Dennis (Beth) Neal, Mary (Bill) Leffel, Mark (Vicki) Neal, Patti (Phil) Wellnitz, Greg (Marissa) Neal, Brenda (Robert) Hobson, Heidi (Shawn) Strzok, and Angela (Scott) Shelly; cousins, Kayleigh and Elise (fiance Jeff) Brancamp, Laura (fiance Eric) and Brittney (fiance Eric) Martin, Elizabeth, Emma and Eli Hoscheit, J.J (Donna) Johnson, Candace (Rod) Beggs, Neal (Kate) Johnson, Marcus (Anita) Johnson, Dustin and Kevin Johnson, Jennifer (Shawn) Wellnitz, Melissa (Adam) Perkins, Denise Neal, Jeremy (Lorna) McCartney, Jason (Shae) McCartney, Zach and Grace Neal, Michael and Shelly Leffel, Megan (Andy) Lewis, Laura (fiance Aaron) Neal, Matthew (Sheena) Wellnitz, Dan, Samantha, Phil, April, Molly, and James Wellnitz, Dan (Dana) Neal, Rachel (fiance Will) Neal, Renee, Justice, Mara and Jolie Neal, Michael and Ashley Draeving, Lindsy and Christian Hobson, Mikayla, Morgan and Nolan Strzok, Braden and Alexis Cook, Brody and Emma Shelly. Benjamin was preceded in death by an Aunt Jodi Martin; cousins, Michael Martin, Todd Draeving and Madeline Wellnitz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at ST. WILLIAM CATHOLIC CHURCH, Janesville, with the Father Kevin Dooley presiding. A private visitation will be held on Monday, May 7, 2012, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. for the immediate and military family only. A public visitation will follow from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at PARKVIEW HIGH SCHOOL, Orfordville. The Newcomer-Silverthorn Chapel on the Hill, Orfordville is assisting the family.

Benjamin wished for himself, only to receive flowers. Other expressions of sympathy may be given to the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Orfordville, where an account has been set up. The money will be donated to a charity for children with special needs whom Benjamin greatly cared for.

ORFORDVILLE (WIFR) — The body of a local soldier killed in Afghanistan returns home tomorrow. And the people of his hometown are paying the ultimate respect. 23 News was in Orfordville, Wisconsin tonight, where hundreds came out to line the streets with thousands of american flags.

Twelve miles of flapping of flags will greet the Neal family on their somber journey home. Corporal Ben Neal was killed last Wednesday. His body arrives tomorrow at the Southern Wisconsin Airport for burial.

Ben’s sister Becca planted the first memorial flag at Newcomer Funeral Home in Orfordville. It served as a staging area where about two hundred people picked up flags to place along the motorcade route. Most people there never knew Corporal Neal. They were just compelled to show respect for him and his family.

“I came home from Vietnam, I came home safe. This boy didn’t so I’m out to help him,” said Robert Corning of Brodhead, WI.

Larry Eckhardt didn’t know Ben either. But heard of his death and decided to lend 22-hundred flags to the community. He’s known for doing this throughout the Midwest. The funeral home spread the word via Facebook.

“This is the most difficult we’ve done and the most involved because of the time frame from when he died to getting him back here,” said Newcomer Funeral Home owner Beverly Newcomer.

It will be ten days from the time Corporal Neal’s Army unit was attacked in Afghanistan to the time his body arrives home. A long time to wait to let the healing process begin.

Corporal Neal was only 21-years-old. He joined the Army shortly after graduating from Parkview High School in 2009. He was based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Town of Beloit is requesting members of the community to help in welcoming Corporal Neal home. They’ve asked folks to line Townline Road between Highway 51 and Afton Road. They call this the best way to silently honor Corporal Neal and his family.

A public visitation will be held on Monday from four to 9 p.m. at Parkview High School. Immediate family and friends will gather privately beforehand. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday at ten o’clock at Saint William Catholic Church in Janesville.

Release from the Rock County Sheriff: Return Home of Specialist Benjamin H. Neal

Specialist Benjamin H. Neal, 21, Orfordville, WI, who died April 25 from injuries sustained when enemy forced attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, will return home on Saturday, May 5 at 9:00 a.m. In accordance with family wishes, the route for Specialist Neal’s return will be:

-Leave Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport via Airport Road
-South to USH 51 from Airport Road
-West to Beloit Rock Townline Road from USH 51
-North to CTH D/Afton Road from Beloit Rock Townline Road
-West to Plymouth Church Road from CTH D/Afton Road
-North to STH 213 from Plymouth Church Road
-East to STH 11 from STH 213 (Village of Orfordville)
-(Immediate family only) North to Coon Island Road; arrive at Newcomer Silverthorn Funeral Home

In order to accommodate Specialist Neal’s family and all other attendees wishing to participate in his return home, deputies will be stationed on Airport Road providing direction to one of four staging areas. In addition, deputies will provide a handout to each driver explaining this process in more detail, as well as information pertaining to route safety.

The Sheriff’s Office projects more than 150 motor vehicles will be involved in returning Specialist Neal home. Intersections along the return route will be closed by law enforcement officials. Therefore, motorists should avoid route intersections from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Spc. Benjamin H. Neal, 21, of Orfordville, Wis., died April 25 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Cpl. Benjamin Harold Neal, 21, of Fort Bragg N.C./Orfordville, WI was reborn on April 25th, 2012 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan while proudly serving his country. Benjamin was born at St. Clare Hospital in Monroe, WI to Donald and Trisha (Ahrens) Neal on August 20, 1990. He graduated from Parkview High School in 2009, where he was active in Wrestling, FFA, and 4-H. On June 16, 2009 he proudly entered the US Army reporting to Fort Benning, GA for Basic Training and graduated from Airborne School. Cpl. Neal was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC and began his first deployment to Afghanistan in January 2010. Benjamin was united in marriage to Emily Blaxill on September 2, 2010 in Ft. Bragg, NC. Benjamin enjoyed his time spent with family, music and the outdoors, especially the woods behind the home farm.
Cpl. Neal’s military honors include: the Purple Heart, NATO Medal, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.
Benjamin leaves behind his Brothers in Battle; his wife, Emily Ann; his mother, Trisha (who he always stood up for); his father, Donald; siblings: Bradley, Becca, Brendan, Brooke, Bridgette, all of Orfordville; grandparents, Norm & Donna Ahrens, and Harold & Agnes Neal; father-in-law, Ray Blaxill; mother-in-law, Julie Blaxill; brother-in-law, Jon Blaxill; aunts and uncles: Mindy (James) Brancamp, Kris (Kirt) Hoscheit, Georgia Erickson, Keith (Julie) Neal, Chris (Kerry) McCartney, Dennis (Beth) Neal, Mary (Bill) Leffel, Mark (Vicki) Neal, Patti (Phil) Wellnitz, Greg (Marissa) Neal, Brenda (Robert) Hobson, Heidi (Shawn) Strzok, and Angela (Scott) Shelly; cousins: Kayleigh & Elise (fiancée Jeff) Brancamp, Laura (fiancée Eric) and Brittney (fiancée Eric) Martin, Elizabeth, Emma & Eli Hoscheit, J.J (Donna) Johnson, Candace (Rod) Beggs, Neal (Kate) Johnson, Marcus (Anita) Johnson, Dustin and Kevin Johnson, Jennifer (Shawn) Wellnitz, Melissa (Adam) Perkins, Denise Neal, Jeremy (Lorna) McCartney, Jason (Shae) McCartney, Zach and Grace Neal, Michael and Shelly Leffel, Megan (Andy) Lewis, Laura (fiancée Aaron) Neal, Matthew (Sheena) Wellnitz, Dan, Samantha, Phil, April, Molly, and James Wellnitz, Dan (Dana) Neal, Rachel (fiancee Will) Neal, Renee, Justice, Mara and Jolie Neal, Michael and Ashley Draeving, Lindsy and Christian Hobson, Mikayla, Morgan and Nolan Strzok, Braden and Alexis Cook, Brody and Emma Shelly. Benjamin was preceded in death by an Aunt Jodi Martin; cousins: Michael Martin, Todd Draeving and Madeline Wellnitz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at ST. WILLIAM CATHOLIC CHURCH, Janesville, WI with the Fr. Kevin Dooley presiding. A private visitation will be held on Monday, May 7, 2012 from 2-4 p.m. for the immediate and military family only. A public visitation will follow from 4-9 p.m. at PARKVIEW HIGH SCHOOL, Orfordville, WI. The Newcomer-Silverthorn Chapel on the Hill, Orfordville is assisting the family.
Benjamin wished for himself, only to receive flowers. Other expressions of sympathy may be given to the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Orfordville, where an account has been set up. The money will be donated to a charity for children with special needs whom Benjamin greatly cared for.

Help Us Honor Their Memory
Orfordville
04/25/2012
Age: 21
Incident Location: Kandahar province, Afghanistan
Branch: Army
Rank: Spc.
Unit: 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team
Units Base: Fort Bragg, North Carolina