"You kind of cherish every time they get a chance to come home because they're gone so much.. So every moment that you get to spend with them you do," Ben's dad and step-mom, Olin and Barbara Crain say. Ben's mom Kelly O'Brien says, "We're just having a lot of fun. Just being around him. He's just a good kid all the way around."
Ben Crain's mom, dad, and step-mom can't help but smile when talking about their 'little boy'. The 25-year-old Orland High School graduate has been with the Air Force for nearly six years now. And has accomplished so much since he enlisted in 2005. "We're just very proud of him," Kelly says.
Staff Sergeant Crain has been honored by the Air Force for numerous achievements. He was awarded Airmen of the Year in 2006, after just one year of service. And a Purple Heart the following year. he has been stationed in Alaska and Japan and deployed twice to Kuwait. And although Crain knows he has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, he says he loves protecting the country and appreciates all of the opportunities it brings. Ben says, "It's just a good experience. You meet a lot of different people."
But what Crain says he loves the most is coming home to his family and getting time to enjoy some of his passions, like race car driving. And since he has less than a week left in Orland, before heading off to training, he's dusting off his high school racing helmet, and heading back out on the track. "It's always fun to get to play with the cars when I come home.. But never really get to do a full race.. So tonight's going to be fun," Ben says. Kelly says, "He was an awesome racer then and I'm sure he'll pick it back up real fast again.. We're looking forward to seeing him out there tonight."