27, of Shapleigh, Maine; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Nov. 26 of injuries sustained when his vehicle turned over in Kamdesh, Afghanistan.
To honor CPT Benjamin D. Keating, his mother, Mrs. Beth Keating retrieved this stone from the Kennebunk Beach, one of Ben’s favorite places to visit when he was home on leave.
Beth talks about why this stone is significant and what is says about her son.
“I grew up in Kennebunk and my Mom lived there when our kids were small. Whenever we went to the Beach, Ken and I took Jess and Ben to Kennebunk Beach. It was always like going home for me and since I dragged Ken up here from Massachusetts, it quickly became a special place for him as well. Apart from Acadia National Park, I would say it was Ben’s favorite place in the world. Whenever he was home on leave, we made our way to the beach and took a long walk. The last time Ben was home (about a month before he died) he chose something special to do with each of us alone. He played golf with this Dad, went for hike with Jess and the day before he left, he and I went out breakfast, then went for a walk on Kennebunk Beach. It is a special memory.
Ben also loved the mountains, Mt. Washington in particular. He thought Afghanistan was beautiful, but harsh. The stone is granite, symbolic of the mountains of New England, that Ben loved and hiked.
Regarding who he was, I could write a book. He was funny, bright, loved people of all ages, and wanted to do all he could to bring out the best in people. He loved his family (including the large extended family). One of the “cousins” he was the life of the party when we were all together. He was not a saint, by any means, but we love him still and will miss him forever.”