Letter To The Editor: Remembering Trooper Benda

 

by Brian Jacobsen

The morning of October 27th was dark, cool and misting for the somber trip to NE Iowa to honor an Iowa State Trooper killed in the line of duty. I was honored to represent Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office at Trooper Ted Benda’s funeral. I never met Trooper Benda, but felt a compelling need to show my respect for the fallen hero.

About 30 minutes from Waukon, Iowa, Trooper Benda’s hometown, the mood got even more somber. I was in a procession of law enforcement vehicles making their way to honor the life of Trooper Benda, and to support his family, friends and the Iowa State Patrol.

This wasn’t the first law enforcement funeral I have attended. “Breathtaking”, is the word I would use to describe the number of marked squad cars I observed when pulling into the Waukon High School parking lot. Obviously there were hundreds of Iowa State Patrol and Iowa law enforcement vehicles, but squads from as far away as Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and a single Trooper vehicle from Georgia. All there to pay respect to an Iowa hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The service provided information about who Trooper Ted Benda, Badge 313 was. He was married to his wife, Holly, and four daughters, Madilyn, 11; Avery, 8; Vivyan, 3; and Sylvia, just three weeks old. He enjoyed time with his family, being outdoors hunting or fishing and dedicated his professional life protecting the citizens and visitors of Iowa. During the service there was a photo tribute to Trooper Benda, showing how proud he was being a dad and husband.

Trooper Benda was severely injured responding to a request for assistance from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office on October 14th, 2021. He was air lifted from the scene to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., where he was in critical condition for six days before his death on October 20th. Prior to his death, his family agreed to donate his organs.

Trooper Benda’s service ended with dispatch attempting to contact 313. “Trooper Ted Benda went 1042 for the last time on October 20th, 2021”, the ISP dispatcher said.

It has been a tough year for the Iowa State Patrol. Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith badge 462, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in April of 2021

Troopers Benda and Smith, will be memorized at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC, during National Police Week in 2022.

From the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial website:

“The Memorial features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 22,000 officers who died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1786. Unlike many other memorials in Washington, DC, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is ever-changing: new names of fallen officers are added to the monument each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week.”

For further information about the National law enforcement memorial, please visit https://nleomf.org

A memorial fund has been set up for Trooper Ted Benda at Freedom Bank in Waukon, Iowa.

Rest In Peace Trooper Benda. May God watch over you, your family, friends and all law enforcement officers during this most difficult time.

Posted by on Oct 28 2021. Filed under Editorial, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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