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Citadel News Service
7 Jul 2010

Marine Capt. Ben Sammis, '96, remembered in his hometown

A memorial has been erected in Rehoboth, Mass., in honor of Capt. Benjamin Sammis. The 1996 Citadel graduate was killed in combat in Iraq on April 3, 2003.

Photo
The American Legion Post 302 dedicated this granite bench in Rehoboth, Masss., in honor of the 1996 Citadel graduate who was killed in combat in Iraq in 2003.

On Memorial Day 2010 in Sammis’ hometown of Rehoboth, a granite bench was unveiled in his honor and another in honor of a Vietnam-era Marine who died in service to his country. Marine 1st Lt. Craig Waterman was a medivac helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He and three crewmen were killed in June 1967 when their CH-47 was shot down while trying to land for an evacuation of the dead and wounded.

Sammis was a Cobra helicopter pilot killed while in armed support in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The son of a Marine drill sergeant, Sammis was a member of Kilo Company while a cadet. He majored in civil engineering. After graduating from The Citadel, Sammis set his sights on becoming a pilot.

Sammis is the second of 15 Citadel graduates to die in support of the war on terror. (Deployed Alumni) Sammis is survived by his widow, Stacy Sammis, his parents, Steve and Beth Sammis of Rehoboth and two brothers, Adam and Jeff.

Tom Lyons of the Marine Corps’ Semper Fi Society said Sammis and Waterman were a lot alike even though their service to their country was 30 years apart. Both were helicopter pilots and highly decorated, earning commendations including the Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense Medal and service and campaign medals for the wars they served in. Both Sammis and Waterman graduated from Dighton –Rehoboth Regional High School – Waterman in June 1961 and Sammis in 1992. Waterman went on to Wentworth Institute to a degree in Technical Engineering before entering the Marines. Sammis graduated from The Citadel in 1996 and was commissioned in the Marine Corps.

The dedication ceremony was sponsored by the American Legion Post 302 and featured families, local and Massachusetts dignitaries and the Rehoboth Militia and Drum and Fife, the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School band bugle section and the Patriot Guard.

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