Thursday, 23 August 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
The famed 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment recently honored Belton resident Major General (Ret.) Ben L. Harrison for his military and civilian services.
In a ceremony held at Fort Campbell, Ky., Harrison was inducted as Distinguished Member of the Regiment.
The DMOR designation is awarded to past and present soldiers whose service to the regiment and the nation has earned them the respect of their peers. It recognizes exemplary military service with the 506th combined with significant accomplishment in their civilian careers and notable service to veterans and to their community.
The presentation was made by the commanding officer, Col. Val Keaveny Jr. as a part of the celebration of the regiment's 70th birthday.
Harrison was Commanding Officer of the Currahees and the division's 3rd Brigade in Vietnam. He commanded the brigade during the last major American campaigns of the war, including the assault on the NVA strongholds in the A Shau valley and the historic Battle of Firebase Ripcord and subsequent campaigns.
In his final assignment of the war, he served as senior advisor to the ARVN 1st Infantry Division.
In 2011, Harrison was honored by the Vietnamese American community for his leadership and service in support of their freedom.
Harrison retired in 1979 after more than 30 years of distinguished service, during which time he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Silver Star, two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Soldiers Medal, 40 awards of the Air Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and numerous other U.S. and foreign decorations.
Following his active military career, Harrison enjoyed a successful career as a business executive.