Soldier Honored: Darrik C. Benson
Hometown: Angwin, CA
Branch of Service: Navy SEAL
Rank: Petty Officer First Class
Navy Petty Officer First Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California, was assigned to an East Coast based SEAL team. On August 6, 2011, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom, PO1 Benson was killed when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter he was riding in was shot down.
PO1 Benson enlisted in the Navy in September 2001. He attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, Jump School, and SEAL qualification training, then checked into the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command at Coronado, California. PO1 Benson joined a West Coast based SEAL team in June 2003 and later moved to an East Coast SEAL team after six years. His decorations include the Bronze Star medal with ‘V’ device for Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, on with ‘V’ for Valor, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, Combat Action ribbon, in addition to many more.
“This week we lost our son, brother, uncle, friend and hero. Darrik Benson was killed doing what he loved. He died alongside his friends and teammates, some of the bravest men this world has ever known,” read a family statement.
Benson met his fiancé, Kara Nakamura, in San Diego. Two and a half years later, the couple had a son, Landon. They had settled in Virginia, where Benson was based.
Landon is a Folds of Honor Scholar.