Hamden native killed in Afghanistan

October 4, 2009 6:40:03 PM PDT
Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered state flags lowered to half staff Sunday to honor a Hamden native who was killed fighting in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Capt. Benjamin Sklaver died in Muscheh, Afghanistan, when his unit was ambushed by a suicide attacker on Friday, the governor's office said.

The 32-year-old was a graduate of Hamden High School and Tufts University.

Rell called him a brave soldier and a "brave son who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom."

Slaver also was the director and founder of ClearWater Initiative, a New Haven based organization dedicated to providing clean water to people affected by natural or man-made humanitarian emergencies.

The organization dug wells for more than 6,500 people since 2007, mostly in northern Uganda, according to its Web site.

The work stemmed from a previous deployment of Slaver in the Horn of Africa, near the Ugandan-Sudanese border, his mother, Laura Sklaver, told the New Haven Register.

"He certainly touched a lot of people with his work," his father, Gary Sklaver told the Hartford Courant Sunday. "He was certainly special to us. Every soldier over there is a hero. And everyone over there has someone back home who grieves for them. All soldiers families are worried and all of us have to pray for those who are still over there."

Rell says the flags will remain at half staff until Sklaver has been interred. Funeral arrangements were not complete on Sunday.

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