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Ahoskie-based soldier dies in Kuwait

CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait – An investigation is underway to determine what caused the death of an Ahoskie-based Army National Guardsman on duty in Kuwait.

Sgt. Darry Benson, 46 of Winterville, was pronounced dead at the Troop Medical Clinic at Camp Virginia on Sunday morning after fellow soldiers reported that he was non-responsive.

Sgt. Benson, with the Headquarters Detachment, 730th Quartermasters Battalion based out of the Ahoskie National Guard Armory, died while serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

&uot;Sgt. Benson’s numerous contributions to the North Carolina National Guard will be best remembered by those soldiers that worked long hours with him side by side,” Major General William E. Ingram, Jr., Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard, said. “He answered when duty called and he will be missed by all of us in the NC National Guard. My deepest condolences go to his family and those that were closest to him.”

&uot;Sgt. Darry Benson was an outstanding soldier; he served his country and his state of North Carolina with honor,” said Lt. Colonel George F. Robinson III, Commander, 730th Quartermaster Battalion.

“He believed in his country, a patriot.

He was a true gentlemen and a good friend to all the soldiers in the 730th.”

Sgt. Benson was a 15-year military veteran with four years in the North Carolina Army National Guard starting in 2002.

His awards and decorations include five Army Achievement Medals, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

This was Sgt. Benson’s second deployment in support of the Global War on Terror. He previously deployed to Iraq with A Company, 230th Support Battalion, 30th Brigade Combat Team in 2004 as Heavy Equipment Transport truck driver.

Sgt. Benson’s family remembered him as a trustworthy man.

(Benson family statement) “We the family of Darry Benson would like to thank everyone for their support during this time of our grieving.

He was a very humble and lovable person and all who met him knew they could trust him. He will be truly missed, he was our best friend.”

Nearly 60 soldiers of Sgt. Benson’s Ahoskie-based unit were mobilized in late April.

The unit’s primary mission is to provide command and control for base operations at Camp Virginia, located in northern Kuwait.

According to Major Matthew Handley with the North Carolina National Guard’s Office of Public Affairs, Sgt. Benson’s funeral, with full military honors, will perhaps be held as early as this weekend at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Stokes.

“Due to having to transport Sgt. Benson’s body from Kuwait back to the United States, we’re not exactly clear at this point of the actual date of the funeral,” Major Handley said.