Burton Funeral Home
Monday, November 27, 2023, 12:30 – 2:00 pm, First Presbyterian Church, Indianola.
Monday, November 27, 2023, 2 pm, First Presbyterian Church in Indianola. Burial will follow in Indianola City Cemetery.
Recognizing and Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard. “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”
In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.
Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on November 23, 2023, and has moved on to his heavenly home. MG James Benton “Ben” Gaston (Ret), age 74, who had served within the 2nd Battalion, 198th Armor Regiment; Commander 1st Battalion, 198th Armor Regiment; Commander, 155th Armored Brigade; Commander 66TC; and MSARNG ATAG has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord. MG Gaston was a Vietnam Veteran.
It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country. A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.
Rest in Peace Soldier. We applaud your patriotism and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, our country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.
You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.
Another great Soldier has gone home, “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten, Soldier for Life”.
Obituary, Visitation, and Service details:
Ben Gaston, 74, passed away on November 22, 2023, in Indianola, MS. He was born in Greenville, MS, on December 4, 1948 and grew up in Greenville. He graduated from Greenville High School in 1966 and attended Mississippi State University, Mississippi Delta Community College, and ultimately graduated from Delta State University following his discharge from active duty military service. He joined the U.S. Army in July 1969 and served as an Infantryman in the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam and Cambodia. Upon his discharge from active duty, Gaston joined the Mississippi National Guard as a Non-Commissioned Officer in 1971 and later took a direct commission to 1st Lt. in 1981. Gaston served in various Command positions in his career with the Mississippi National Guard as the Company Commander for B Company 2/198th Armor – Indianola, MS, Battalion Commander 1/198 Armor – Amory, MS, 155 Armored Brigade – Tupelo, MS, 66th Troop Command – Jackson, MS and Assistant Adjutant General – Mississippi Joint Force Headquarters – Jackson, MS. Gaston retired as a Brigadier General in January 2008 and was recalled one month later to function as the Assistant Adjutant General as a Major General which ultimately culminated his 42-year military career. MG Gaston received numerous awards and decorations, including the Soldier’s Medal, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Legion of Merit. Following his discharge from active duty, he continued his civilian education at Delta State University, obtaining a Bachelors and Master’s in Chemistry as well as an MBA in Business. He also received a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Upon graduating from Delta State University, he began his civilian career with the USDA – Stoneville, MS as a lab technician and subsequently was employed by Douglas & Lomason – Cleveland, MS as the Environmental Services Manager for ten manufacturing facilities, the Lewis Grocer Company/Supervalu as the General Manager, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency – Jackson, MS as Deputy Director, Families First for Mississippi as the FRC Manager and Delta Liaison – Indianola, MS and elected as the District 3 Supervisor for Sunflower County.
Gaston is survived by his wife, Sherry Ikerd Gaston, his high school sweetheart. Ben and Sherry were married upon his return from Vietnam and enjoyed a wonderful marriage for nearly 53 years until his death. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Bobbie Ruth Gaston of Greenville, MS. He is also survived by his sister, Ann Bradshaw (Jimmy) of Pearl, MS. Ben enjoyed his opportunities for fishing for salmon and halibut in Alaska, flooded timber duck hunts in Arkansas, antelope hunts in New Mexico, elk hunts in Colorado and working on his timber farm in Weir, MS with Hugh McClendon. Ben will be remembered for his calm demeanor, sage advice, and genuine concern for helping others.
Visitation will be held Monday, November 27, 2023, from 12:30 pm until 2:00 pm, at First Presbyterian Church in Indianola. The funeral service will begin at 2:00 pm with Rev. Duncan Hoopes and Rev. Carl Brannon officiating. Burial will follow in Indianola City Cemetery. Burton Funeral Home of Indianola has been entrusted with arrangements.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Indianola Academy, or any charity of the donors choice.