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In Memoriam

Captain Benton Carter Zettel

Captain Benton Carter Zettel

9 September 2002

Visitor Comments

Great Man
CrewDawg-Viper, Feb 06, 2007 - 08:10 PM

Captain Zettel was a great man. He could always put a smile on your face. I remember the day he died like it was yesterday. He is deeply missed.

522 Fireball Bro
Dave Rodriguez, Jun 26, 2007 - 07:47 AM

I still have the mug you gave me man. I will remember you always.

God Bless


Miss You Bro
Anonymous, Aug 18, 2008 - 05:18 AM

I miss you bro and I am thankful to have had you in life for the time I did. Your the best and I love you.

In God we trust,


The fun we had
Laura campbell, Oct 12, 2009 - 07:55 AM

You lit up my world when I knew you! You impacted people in a profound manner... especially me. Thanks for so many good times, and I still have my formal dress that you spilled beer on :)


A great pilot, great officer and great man...
Staff Sergeant Gil "Q" Quijada, Mar 24, 2010 - 06:36 PM

You are still missed, Captain. The day you died we talked about having a bar-b-q at my new house that weekend. Then you were gone.

Keep your cranium on a swivel and always check 6.


Thinking of you & Molly every Memorial Day
Sheryl Sesack, May 27, 2012 - 03:17 AM

It's been nearly 10 years, and I still remember those days following your crash....especially how resilient Molly was. You would have been proud of her. You two had way too little time together.


Can't Believe it has been 10 years
Nate Zettel, Sep 11, 2012 - 05:07 AM

Our oldest brother said this and I thought it was right on....

10 years and it seems like yesterday. One quote I like to think of is,"painful reminders eventually give way to fond memories." his memory and legacy lives on in our hearts. Matt Zettel

Hey Brother
Nate, Mar 01, 2013 - 08:37 PM


Thinking about you today and it puts a smile on my face. I miss ya and know you are checking in on us from time to time. Take care and talk with you later brother.

Love ya,


Still impacting lives
Silo, May 02, 2013 - 10:23 PM

Banjo...haha...we had so many good times in such a short amount of time. I will never forget you bro! I think of you everytime I see somebody wearing a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors...You will always be missed!

- Mike

Mom, Jul 11, 2014 - 12:44 AM

I was looking at old videos today and was surprised to see you again in one of Nate's high school ball games. There you were with that big smile and joking around as usual. Oh, you are still so missed. Life goes on and you are always with us.

Memorial Day Weekend
Nate, May 22, 2015 - 06:56 PM

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, just thinking about you and will be all weekend. One person can make a difference, and definitely you have in my life and so many others lives.

We love ya and miss ya brother.

My friend
Curt Alfrey, May 25, 2015 - 06:11 AM

I launch him out many times while at Cannon AFB.

I never told anyone about him until now...

He died serving his country which knew little about him. He is still missed.

Great guy
Anh Le, May 26, 2015 - 08:18 AM

Ben, it's been years since the Academy days but I still remember you as a great cadet, and officer. You are missed.

Playing hooky
Barney Lopez, Aug 15, 2015 - 05:33 AM

I will never forget myself, Spankey and Ben playing hooky from a "mandatory" fun picnic while tdy to Florida. We took Spankey's boat out night time fishing on a lake. It was fun until a gator hit the boat...Ben and I relocated to the exact center of boat for rest of the trip. He was one of my favorite pilots in the squadron. Always has a smile and great sense of humor.

Can't Beleive It's been 13 years Brother
Nate, Sep 09, 2015 - 04:26 PM

Hey Ben-Jamin, time is flying by and I miss you everyday. I can't believe it has already been 13 years. I want you to know that when I think of you, you put a smile on my face and the pain has given way to thoughts of joy about you, Matt and I growing up together. Kerri is 23 weeks pregnant and you are going to be an Uncle in December! Can't wait to tell him all about you. Miss ya, I love ya, and thank you for being in my life for as long as you could. God just needed you more.

You Are An Uncle !!!
Nate Zettel, Feb 05, 2016 - 08:46 PM

Proud to let you know Kerri and I had a son and we named him Benton after you buddy!!! I know you would say "why did you do that?" LOL. We know you are already his Guardian Angel from above in the sky that you love to fly in. Circle of life and I feel like we have just a little bit of you back in the world. I miss you everyday and you put a smile on my face everyday. Best guy I ever knew.........Love ya.

Happy Mamorial Day
Curt Alfrey, May 30, 2017 - 08:27 PM

One night after an NVG mission "Zettel" as we crew dawgs called him, he stood there with me and some other crew Chiefs talking about his flight as he did several times. He showed us his NVG's and I looked through them at the night sky at all the stars, bats, and bugs flying around. He was one of the only pilots that spent time with us on the flightline after a flight even when it had been a really long surge day. He was more than just another one of our pilots, he was my friend.

Miss you my friend
Scott Case, Jul 26, 2017 - 12:42 AM

I can't believe it has been so long. I think of you often and miss you so much. The ARPs are having a golf tournament in your memory this fall. I'm not sure you'd approve, but I know you'd have a blast. Always in my heart and I'll never forget. STOML

Remembering Ben
Joe G, Apr 04, 2018 - 05:44 AM

I worked in airfield management and was on duty when this happened. I didn't know Ben, but saw him around and had friends who worked with and knew him well. I think it's time now that I contribute something in his memory, especially since I played such a big role in the response to what happened that night.

I was responsible that night for dispatching the emergency response, among many other things. I'll never forget a lot of things from that night, and especially will never forget Captain Zettel. Still gives me chills thinking about some of the radio calls I heard from the other guys in his flight after the accident.

Maybe this is weird considering I didn't know him personally, but for many years I've come to this page and re-read what everyone says. I guess it's my way of remembering/paying tribute to Ben and what he did.

One of a kind
Boren, May 27, 2019 - 09:15 PM

Captain Zettel was an amazing pilot, mentor and person. I still remember our fights over his organizational and brainstorming methods (laying papers in a circle all around him until no one could walk in the room). We would argue, then he'd make me laugh and two minutes later he would be teaching me something that I would never find in any book about flying, threats, or the F16. I remember that night so well and still miss you.

Love Never Dies
Anonymous, May 27, 2019 - 10:02 PM

Memorial Day 2019 and I’ve been thinking and talking about you all day brother. You put a smile on my face and sometimes a quiver in my voice. It seems like yesterday however at the same time it seems so long ago. I do know that I miss everything we would have done together as we grew old. I will see you again and what a party it will be. I hope to see you in my dreams soon brother. Come pay me a visit.

I love ya Ben-Jamin’

17 Years
Matt Zettel, Sep 09, 2019 - 07:35 PM

Going through old photos today on the 17th Anniversary of your crash.You'd have been 43. Thanks for keeping an eye out for us down here. See you again someday. Miss you Ben

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