Jeffry and Suzanne Zimmerman are announcing the deployment to Afghanistan of
their son, Benjamin Alex Morris, a sapper combat engineer with the Indiana
National Guard’s 713th Engineer Company.
Ben, 26—who excelled in marksmanship during his preparation for
deployment—will have one of the company’s more hazardous assignments, his
mother told the Chesterton Tribune today: driving the Buffalo, a
vehicle used to clear marching routes of mines and improvised explosive
devices in advance of troop movements.
Ben will be missing his wife, Kaci, and his 2-year-old son, Reilleigh, while
on deployment, and the family is asking the community to remember him in
Ben’s grandparents are Jerry (Marge) Troke of Chesterton and Joe (Maryann)
Leath of Portage; great-grandmother, Monita William of Chesterton; sister,
Jamie (Ray) Ramirez of Valparaiso; and aunts, Chris Reno, Cathy (Jack) Leath,
and Rayann Rockhill of Chesterton, Wendy Olm of Valparaiso, and Rose Marie
Rockhill of Portage.
The 713th Engineer Company—nicknamed Sapper and comprised of approximately
100 soldiers—will be conducting patrols while in Afghanistan to assess road
conditions and provide repairs while necessary.
On the eve of the unit’s deployment, its commanding officer, Capt. Cecil
Pendleton III, said, “This is going to be a good but tough year. The men of
the 713 Sapper Company have trained exceptionally hard and kept their nose
to the grindstone every day and month.”
To his soldier’s families, Pendleton added, “You enabled these men to focus
on their training and the mission ahead of us. Thank you so much for your
support and encouragement.”