Army Green Beret from O'Hara dies in North Carolina, family says
Relatives and friends remembered Maj. Benjamin Follansbee as an unassuming man but ambitious military officer who loved the study of history.
The Army Green Beret, who grew up in O'Hara and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, died near Fort Bragg, N.C., of an apparent suicide, police said on Friday.
Follansbee, 31, apparently hanged himself on Monday in his Fayetteville, N.C., residence, said Gavin McRoberts, a spokesman for the Fayetteville police.
The death is under investigation, McRoberts said.
Follansbee's co-workers called police when he did not show up for work that morning, McRoberts said.
Follansbee was a graduate of Shady Side Academy and the University of Delaware, where he was in the Army's ROTC program.
He served as an airborne Army Ranger in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. He later completed training as an Army Green Beret and did three tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Follansbee received two Bronze Stars and several other military medals and commendations.
“He was someone who never spoke about his achievements. He would be appalled that people were writing about him. He would want this to be about the Green Berets, the military's unsung quiet heroes,” said his father, Dr. William Follansbee, a UPMC cardiologist.
Benjamin Follansbee never told his father about the two Bronze Stars he had won.
“He and I had some wonderful talks over the years. It was clear to me that there was a lot he was not talking about,” William Follansbee said.
His father said his son's other awards include a NATO medal, an Army Achievement Medal and an Army Service Medal.
Benjamin Follansbee was determined to enter the military from a young age. He earned a pilot's license before graduating from high school and received a congressional appointment to the Air Force Academy but was ultimately turned down because of a need for allergy medication.
Emy Boag, a neighbor and family friend in O'Hara, said Benjamin Follansbee “was a very creative and independent-thinking young person.”
In addition to his father, Follansbee is survived by his mother, Susan Follansbee; sister, Katherine Follansbee Junger of Cincinnati; and brother, Christopher Follansbee of Pittsburgh.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Rick Wills is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Small plane goes down near Grove City
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Route 22 accident in Monroeville causes traffic jam
- 1 hurt in Mt. Lebanon fire on Bower Hill Road
- Suspended Penn-Trafford teacher charged with stalking student
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
- LaBar: John Cena leaving WWE for Hollywood?
- Baby girl dies when run over by pickup truck in Indiana County
- Real estate executive Hanna’s gifts target needy Western Pa. families