August 15, 2004 6:00 AM

Iowan remembered for old-fashioned kindness

The Sunday in January when Ben Carmans friends and family saw him for the last time, he stood at the altar of First Assembly of God church. More than 450 people surrounded him with prayer. He didnt wear his dress blues that day. He knew there would be lots of hugging, and he wanted to hug back. Marines in uniform arent supposed to show emotion, he told his parents. There were hugs and tears and heartfelt goodbyes. That image of Ben standing shyly at the church altar is forever embedded in the minds of those who love him.

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