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US Soldier, Activist Killed In Afghanistan

From Fox News:

Army Capt. Benjamin Sklaver, second left, and Sgt. Gary Robinson, left, deliver medical supplies to a clinic in Northern Uganda.

U.S. Soldier, Clean Water Activist Killed While Serving in Afghanistan

By Joshua Rhett Miller

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Friends and family of an Army reservist killed last week in Afghanistan gathered Tuesday morning in a small town in Connecticut to remember the extraordinary efforts of a man who transcended his duty as a soldier to provide a bare necessity of life to people living half a world away.

Capt. Benjamin Sklaver, 32, of Hamden, Conn., died Friday in southeastern Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed by a homicide bomber, cutting short his dream of providing clean water to 250,000 needy people within 10 years.

In 2007, after returning home from the Horn of Africa, where he was struck by high rates of child mortality linked to dirty drinking water, Sklaver founded ClearWater Initiative, an organization based in New Haven that sought to provide potable water in underdeveloped villages. Sklaver’s impact on daily life in Uganda is evident in a letter posted on the organization’s Web site that referred to him as "Moses Ben."

"Long live clear water initiative," read the 2008 letter by Martin, chairman of the Ugandan village of Apookeni. "Long live Moses Ben."

According to its Web site, clearwaterinitiative.org, the nonprofit has constructed wells for more than 6,500 people since 2007, primarily in northern Uganda, where ClearWater Initiative is registered as a local non-governmental organization.

ClearWater was truly a family affair, as both of Sklaver’s parents, Laura and Gary Sklaver, served on its all-volunteer staff, following their son’s footsteps in his mission to link donors with Ugandan partners to provide the most basic necessity of life.

Mourners will celebrate Sklaver’s contributions at home and abroad Tuesday at a funeral service in Hamden. Sklaver is reportedly the first Hamden native to be killed in war since Vietnam.

Laura Sklaver told the New Haven Register her son was so inspired by his impact as a Army reservist in Africa — building wells for as little as $1,000 — that he wanted to continue that assistance as soon as he returned stateside

Laura Sklaver told the New Haven Register her son was a captain in the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, during his second tour of duty.

"He had a special interest in humanitarian work, and especially clean water projects," Laura Sklaver told the paper. "While he was in Uganda, he believed so strongly in what they were doing that he wanted to continue the work they were doing and they started a small nonprofit."

While in Afghanistan, Sklaver said her son’s unit also built infrastructure that gave villagers the ability to resist insurgents.

"If the same infrastructure is offered to them by Al Qaeda, they will have the wherewithal to say no," she told the New Haven Register. "Villagers could return to their old village if they had clean water there." …

"Ben was in the top 5 percent of his class," Iezzi told wtnh.com. "He was in the National Honor Society and he was a swimmer, a very good swimmer on the boys’ swim team. So he was a very accomplished student, very well liked by everyone." …

Sklaver went onto graduate from Tufts University in 1999 and later earned a Master of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts in 2003…

Sklaver is survived by his father, Gary, mother, Laura, brother, Samuel, and sister, Anna. He was engaged to Beth Segaloff, daughter of a law partner of Laura Sklaver’s. They had planned to marry in June

Weirdly enough Fox News seems to be the only major news outlet reporting this activist’s death.

There are a few local reports, but none from the rest of the mainstream media.

Why is that, do you think?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “US Soldier, Activist Killed In Afghanistan”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    “Why is that, do you think?”

    They can’t be reporting the ‘GOOD’ aspects of us being there.

    To the family of Capt. Sklaver …….. “May God grant you the the solace of knowing that Ben was helping others and it cost him the ultimate sacrifice. God bless and keep you all safe.”

    “Thank You”

  2. canary says:

    There’s still no news on Afganistans voting day. There could be a slaughter going on but the button pushers control the world.

  3. GL0120 says:

    He was trying to help people; you can certainly understand why the media couldn’t be bothered to report such an offense.
    This was a person who cared about others and who put his money, and ultimately his life, where his mouth was, surely he’ll receive the ultimate reward.

    • catie says:

      The media doesn’t understand people like that. They’re too busy fawning over David Letterman.

  4. beautyofreason says:

    Several years ago the media reported the death of soldiers every day or every few days. There were online monuments to their deaths. The New York Times created an interactive photo montage of fallen soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    Funny how now that Bush is out of office, there is very little mention of these men and almost never as a head story. I guess they ran out of their usefulness to the left.

    • canary says:

      Yes, no doubt, Obama has type written, formatted fill in the blanks, printed signature, letters going to the families, if he even sends a note to the families of our fallen soldiers. Bush wrote hand-written letters for each troop.
      Oh, and don’t forget Michelle’s long ago promise her role as 1st Lady
      is support for our soldiers.
      She is all Hollywood and a poor role model, yet the media won’t pick on her. SNL could fill every show with these two’s whirlwind of glamor.

  5. canary says:

    Our U.S. soldiers have done more humanity, than Obama has done in his life. The hardest job he ever did was scoop ice-cream.

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