New Mexico Army National Guardsman Sgt. Benjamin Griego Death Ruled Suicide by Army CID; Parents Disagree & Say It’s Murder (2007)

bengriego

Sgt. Benjamin Griego, New Mexico Army National Guard

From the parents of Army Sgt. Benjamin Griego:

Benjamin Griego, 26, was found dead in Army housing at White Sands Missile Range on July 13, 2007. He was serving our country as Cadre, on his second term enlistment, representing the New Mexico Army National Guard. His duty involved training military branches of service for transition to a Warrior Transition course previously transferred to Dona Ana Range from Ft. Knox, Kentucky. Our 26 year old son, Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego, was found dead in Army housing at White Sands Missile Range on July 13, 2007. He was serving our country as Cadre, on his second term enlistment, representing the New Mexico Army National Guard. His duty involved training military branches of service for transition to a Warrior Transition course previously transferred to Dona Ana Range from Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

When we first heard of our sons death, there was no official report released from the Army National Guard to his wife or to us, his parents. The information we received early that morning on July 13th, was that our son had died. The information was received from the public through their phone calls and visits of sympathy and condolences.

As we tried to make sense of this, we brushed it off as gossip since the rumor had come from a Wal-Mart employee. Later, we learned that it had been channeled down from a sergeant on post at White Sands Missile Range to a family member employed at the local Wal-Mart in Clovis, NM. That in itself was devastating and shocking to find this out in this manner. We were on the phone early that morning frantically trying to make contact with someone from the White Sands Missile Range and the Army National Guard in Santa Fe, NM who would put these rumors to rest. But to my disbelief, we were notified hours later that the worst had turned out to be true, our beloved son was gone.

Jeronimo, Bens father, was the last person to speak to Ben just hours before his death. He had made his father promise that he would call him while he was on the range the next day. We had made plans with Ben to pick up his father at the airport in El Paso, TX Monday, July 16th after duty. His itemized phone statement showed two phone calls were made to housing on base that evening. We believe that he was trying to make accommodations for his fathers visit.

Ben was 26 years old, and the youngest of my three sons. He kept close contact with us. We spoke to him every day, we knew our son, and nothing was out of the ordinary the day prior. Everything was going well for him, except for altercations he had been having with three unit members who had recently returned from Iraq. A DVD was given to us by his commander on the night of the Rosary, July 19th , which clearly demonstrates that problems existed.

My son presented a formal class on Integrity, ordered by the commander. The commander, first sergeant, and unit members were present. The class was recorded on a DVD. Some of the unit members admitted to “bum rushing” Ben before he presented the class. On the same DVD, a death threat was made. This was three weeks prior to his death. The unit members admitted to bum rushing him and the commanding officer, the highest commanding officer present, asked if it was round two”. She was well aware what was going on.

He told his mother he had been attacked by members in his unit three times in the weeks before his death, and he had a black eye the day before he died, the paper reported. He was frustrated, tired of the assaults and was resisting the urge to fight back, his father Jeronimo Griego told the News Journal. “We want them to clear his name. He did not commit suicide, we know that. We want to clear his name. Not only is that important to his name and to us, it’s important to his daughter,” Judy Griego told the News Journal. “We don’t want her growing up thinking that he did this to himself.”  –ABQ Journal

Related Links:
Family doubts soldier’s suicide
Soldier’s family seeks answers
Family of Clovis Soldier Wants Answers
Family questions Army probe in soldier’s death
Clovis family questions probe into soldier’s death
Army officials investigate death of Guard member
The Murder of Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego (Pt. 1/5)
The Murder of Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego (Pt. 2/5)
The Murder of Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego (Pt. 3/5)
The Murder of Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego (Pt. 4/5)
The Murder of Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego (Pt. 5/5)
Murder in Baker Company: How Four American Soldiers Killed One of Their Own by Cilla McCain
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members


Our 26 year old son, Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Griego, was found dead in Army housing at White Sands Missile Range on July 13, 2007. He was serving our country as Cadre, on his second term enlistment, representing the New Mexico Army National Guard. –YouTube

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