New England's War Dead: Afghanistan
Sergeant Benjamin L. Gilman, 28, Meriden, Conn.
Gilman was killed when an arms cache exploded in Ghazni, Afghanistan, Jan. 29, 2004. He'd wanted to be in the Army since childhood, when he played with GI Joe figures. He was a die-hard Yankees fan and was the only boy in high school to take cooking classes. Among the friends who mourned him in Connecticut were several elderly women who walked daily at the mall where he worked during high school.