SAN DIEGO - On April 6, Hospitalman Benjamin D. Rast, Naval Medical Center San Diego's (NMCSD) Directorate for Nursing Services, Medical and Surgical Nursing Department, was killed in action while conducting a dismounted patrol northeast of patrol base Alcatraz, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Rast deployed from NMCSD Nov. 4, 2010 as part of the Health Service Augmentation Program (HSAP) assigned as a Hospitalman to 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (forward deployed).
"He was a remarkable Sailor who was respected by his peers and co-workers for his integrity and strong work ethic, and was frequently complimented by his patients for his outstanding customer service skills," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Pietro Martone, senior enlisted leader for Directorate for Nursing Services. "We are saddened by this loss; Hospitalman Rast will be missed."
Rast, 23, of Niles, Mich. enlisted in the U.S. Navy April 1, 2009. He was assigned to Recruit Training Command (Great Lakes, Ill. April 1-June 2, 2009), then reported to Naval Hospital Corpsman School (Great Lakes, Ill. June 2 to Sept. 23, 2009) and onto Field Medical Service School at Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Oct. 13-Dec. 17, 2009) before reporting to NMCSD (Dec. 17, 2009).
His awards include:National Defense Service MedalPistol Marksmanship MedalGlobal War on Terrorism Service Medal
Rast is survived by his father, Robert Rast from Southbend, Ind. and his stepfather Jerome Tibone, Niles, Mich.
Naval Medical Center San Diego staff is mourning the loss of Hospitalman Rast and has established an electronic memory book for staff as a way to share their private thoughts, memories and condolences, which will be compiled and provided as a tribute to Hospitalman Rast's family.
Chaplain services are available around the clock to all NMCSD staff in need of comfort and prayer during this time of grievance.
Naval Medical Center San Diego is scheduled to host a memorial ceremony in honor of Hospitalman Rast later this month.
MEDIA INSTRUCTIONSFor additional information on HN Rast, please contact: NMCSD Public Affairs Officer at (619) 719-2248 or Sonja.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions regarding 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, please contact: 1stLt. Dominic Pitrone at 504-678-6539.
For information regarding the investigation, please contact:International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command Press Desk at 079-951-3999 (ext. 688-4441) or email@example.com.