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Ben Best Bikes for Lost Soldier

By 2008.01.25 tags: , , . 17 Comments»

PFC Matt Maupin, US ArmyBenjamin Allen Best is a biker on a mission, a mission dedicated to the lost soldier Matt Maupin. Benjamin is on a journey to bicycle through every state in the continental US, spreading the word of the sacrifice people like Matt have made for our country. His ride started in Florida in 2004 and continues still. Like on any epic adventure, the traveler can get a bit weary, as evidenced in his posts…

Ben Best’s Lost Soldier blog: Regular updates by Benjamin on his travels.

Missing Soldier Matt Maupin: WLWT-TV story archive‐ Keith Matthew “Matt” Maupin (born July 13, 1983) is a United States Army PFC captured by Iraqi insurgents on April 9, 2004 while serving in the Iraq War after his convoy came under attack by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire near Baghdad, Iraq. Read more about this ongoing ordeal.

Benjamin Allen Best and “The Lost Soldier”: Dirt Rag Blog hosts an extensive forum of sightings and meetings with Benjamin at various stages of his travels.

via Jeff Ramiriz, KERA-Dallas and Andy Bruno of Dirt Rag mag.

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17 comments | Write comment

I met benjamin this morning in gaston south carolina
He told me this trip is about 911. But people think its
About Matt. He then continued to say he was a christian
(Episcapal) and how he is traveling across the country
\Partying and drinking\ ( Ephesians 5:18 ) with people
from just about every denomination there is. He speaks
Highly of the ones who help him and bashes those that don’t.
He told me that worst of all was Baptist and they offered
No help and no compassion at all. That’s when I told him
that I know for a fact that my Pastor from Faith ( Baptist )
Church gave him money and pointed him towards a motel
Just yesterday. I feel sure that he has been abusing good
christians throughout his journey. He said that he was tired
Of hearing about Jesus and salvation. He seems to be
More concerned with compassion and feelings. I must say
That rubbing his belly and patting him on the back is what
He Is looking for when in truth no amount of either will gain
You eternal life ( Mat 10:32,33 – John 3:17- Ephesians 2:7- 2:18
1 Thess. 5:9) I will end by saying to Benjamin, I pray God
Will bless you with the truth of his love , glory and grace
And give you a safe return home from your quest.

Comment added by bill p. on 06.09.10

I met this man one last night coming out of a long shopping 4 my two grandsons who was at camp wesleywood camp this was 7/2010,&my dear mother was freaking out as she had got lost from me,she just couldn”t see me&she just freaked out but I thank God 4 this man bebjaniman best as my mom made it out-side at walmart in LENIORCITY,Tenn.,and there was benijaman,he was talking to my mother,I really feel that he saved her from some-thing bad happening to her,even though I was right behind my mother not where he nor my mother knew I was next to them both ;just like I said my mother was freaking out and he had no ideal she was sick but he started talking to her and like I said that she really needed&even if I did not tell him that she was 4getting things&that she wasn”t even sure where she was he just has a big heart for other people,as thats the thing I for sure picked up on as I was right behind my mother but yet not to where he or my mom knew,so I came on out-side once my mother had had that bad spell inside walmart,and once I seen that Benijamin was telling my mother some-thing that made her snap out of being lost from me,he was telling my mother something so I walked out and listen to what he was telling my mother ,she wasn”t sure of what he was telling her,so I just walked over so they both knew that I was standing there,I ask him what he was talking about he told me about his mother,then about the lost soldier&I then really started asking alot more questions&he told me all that I ask,but my nephens daughter was with us&Benijamin was just wanting Hayley to take to his story,and I feel as if she had of this could of helped her also but this would just be another story,all I do know this is the first time that I have got to check out his story&just the things he told me was true so in my eyes this means Big pluses 4 him.So I hope this little I told or who-ever this goes to is good&that it helps.Hey Benijam if u are the one that reads this,just want to say keep your good work up&I wish you the best.And if you come back through Tenn.,let me know.

Comment added by teresa on 03.14.11

Ben was here! I own a bar in east Texas. Yes Benjamin drinks! Yes he socializes! He never asked for anything and was happy to camp out back! We brought him home for 2 days insisting he stayed for longer for rest food and a shower. He spoke about some ones son about the sacrificed of a lost soldier and explained what his family was going through. We could all do better to put ourselfs it that boys and his family shoes for our freedom! Ben may be a little different and unconventional but he at least takes a mans life with him on his journey. (no matter how insignificant u all may feel it is). He was someones son! Keep on peddling Ben! See you next rime in Texas on your way through! (hopefully!)

Comment added by Jennifer and shanne on 06.25.11

Ben is still peddling! I met him while fishing in Big Cypress Bayou in Jefferson Texas. I was casting a top water bait, when I noticed a mans head in the middle of the water. It was Ben! His bike was parked on the shoreline, complete with his backpack and gear. The temperature was about 107 and he was cooling off after a tough morning ride from south on hwy 59. He was heading to Texarkana and or DeQueen Arkansas. He spoke of riding for the memory of a lost soldier. I didn’t quite understand, but understand more after researchin him on the web.I only talked to him a few minutes. We took a photo. I gave him some water, and he was on his way, north on Hwy 59. This was on July 3, 2011.

Ben, you need a comprehensive blog that has all your data on it. Your story is amazing, but it is hard to get the information.

Comment added by spir on 07.04.11

Been just passed through southern indiana, bad run of luck in hoosier state as people stole his bike but, catholic church helped get new one. Ready to leave hoosier state(which I can’t blame him), and not able to cross bridge without motorized vehicle, I took him to KY. It was a pleasure listening to his story and I wish him the best on his travel.

Comment added by Steve on 08.29.11

Ben slept underneath our church deck last night in Middletown, Kentucky, on the east side of Louisville. He introduced himself this morning, told me his story, and asked for help. I gave him money for breakfast, met him later after the service, put his bike and gear in my truck and took him to Frankfort, Kentucky. I dropped him off at the Goodwill store with forty dollars.

I hear many stories as a pastor. I didn’t help Ben because he is doing some noble thing (he may think so, I do not) or because he ran a con on me. Ben is man with problems not that different from my own. I helped because I could, because it is cold out, and because it is what I would want someone to do for me. I’m a recovering addict. I know how much grace was “wasted” on me.

Comment added by Jan Alan McKenzie on 12.10.11

We just met him in winchester ky!!

Comment added by Erica cruz on 12.26.11

Just stopped by our church looking for Gods true people. He seemed nice and chatted along time. One thing that did disturb me though is that he wasnt really supporting the soldier per say but more or less was calling him a fool for serving a country he didnt really care for. I was a little socked to see some of the blogs here saying he was supporting a troop gone missing. Also he kept bad mouthing churches that didnt show compassion(give money). He told me of a story about a baptist church giving him a food card for King Soopers and said he was ashamed receiving it. He ended up buy cigarrets and beer to return it to the church to prove a point that some how the church thought he was a drunk or smoker or something to that degree. Anyway if you didnt give him money you seemed not to be his friend….not bad mouthing him just pointing out my experience with him. Hope he gets to where he needs to safely and God Bless him.

Comment added by Jim on 06.01.12

Ben just stopped by my church in Independence, MO. he said he was looking to get to Chicago where he had friends so he could ultimately make his way to Alaska for some reason. He also told me he was looking for ‘real Christian people who visited the prisons’ because ‘only real Christians visit prisons.’ I got him lunch and a few dollars cash.

He also told me he spent 20 years in jail for manslaughter… fyi.

Comment added by Jason on 08.15.12

Ben stopped by my church in Atchison, KS, yesterday. Didn’t mention anything about Matt or those in military service. Did talk about wanting to get to Florida, or maybe Utah, or maybe Alaska, or maybe somewhere down south; no clear plan, as far as I could tell. Also mentioned (as Jason noted, above) having spent 20 years in prison for manslaughter (in Florida). Indicated that he hoped to travel from town to town and collect “love offerings” from Seventh Day Adventist churches. Said he needed a place to stay for the night before moving on the following day, so I put him up for the night in a local hotel and gave him directions for getting to where he said he wanted to go. The next day, however, he was back on my doorstep, asking for more money; I turned him away and wished him luck.

Comment added by Andrew on 03.12.13

Just met (seen) Ben at Starbucks in Trussville, Alabama. Ben was speaking to a couple of regulars about his journey. The conversation I overheard was how the church, and pastors were basically no good. He was also speaking about how someone called cops on him last night for sleeping on the church grounds. Ben said the cops ran him off of “Gods” property.

Ben was not causing any trouble, but I could tell that his opinion was the only one that mattered.

Good luck Ben, and I hope God touches you and changes you from the inside out.

By the way, Ben was trying to get to Florida.

6/7/2013

Comment added by Larry on 06.07.13

I met Ben on 10/15/13 @ around 2am in Zachary, LA. I stopped for gas and saw him resting. After a brief exchange, I took him up the road for coffee, then north to St. Francisville. I enjoyed our conversation as we traveled. Ben spoke of his friends, their son, and his journey! Though he is a peculiar individual, I believe some people misinterpret his straight forward, blunt attitude for ungratefulness! He was a charming, polite, and grateful traveler who although mentioning those who turned him away, also praised those who helped! I feel if we turned the microscope on ourselves we may also come across in a not so flattering light as well! I am a Methodist, a Freemason, and a traveler, who helped him as neither of these, but as all combined! I also helped him no more than he helped me! God places people in our paths to help and encourage us as well as for us to help and encourage! I learn from every encounter I have, good or bad! However I will say my encounter with Ben was a very good one!
Ben if you see this, thanks for sharing your life with me and I hope to see you or hear from you again… down the road!
Peaceful Travels!
Scott

Comment added by Scott Moore on 10.17.13

Scott. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I met him today. While listening to his stories, I silently questioned what he is about and the purpose of our encounter. I somewhat questioned my actions. Your comments helped bring it together to make sense.

He did mention some churches unwillingness to help. I bluntly told him that maybe it’s because his story just didn’t quite add up, as it was confusing to me.

The only thing I regret is that we didn’t pray before he went on his way.

Thank you Lord for putting me there today. Guide my life, my actions, and my thoughts each day, every minute, every second. Amen.

Comment added by NH on 10.21.13

  l personally had chance to meet Benjamin tonight in zMany , la and I found him to be a very dedicated man that finds it necessary to honor & remember those that were lost and those who fought for this country so we could be free . He had a few drinks , i fed him some good ole country style food and sat and listen to his story , He never once ask anyone for anything . In my opinion we need more folks like Benjamin ! Hats off to you Benjamin keep on pedaling and if your ever back in Many, Louisiana stop by and have a drink ! ! May God be with you on your journey ! ! Your bartender at ” The Bar ” in Many , La . Leslie

Comment added by leslie on 11.07.13

WOW…WHAT A INCREDIBLE STORY BEN HAS. MET HIM IN CANTON GEORGIA @ BODOCK’S BAR AND GRILL. HIS MOTTO IS TO PAY IT FORWARD.I WILL FOREVER AND ALWAYS CHARISH THE GIFTS YOU GAVE ME. NEVER GOING TO GIVE THEM UP. NOT ALWAYS ABLE TO WEAR JEWELRY WITH MY LINE OF WORK…..BUT I WILL ALWAYS HAVE THEM CLOSE. DEFINATELY KEEP ON PEDALING ON YOUR MISSION FOR AWARENESS OF HOW OUR TROOPS DO SACRIFICE FOR OUR FREEDOM. I PRAY FOR YOUR SAFE JOURNEY. GOD HAS BLESSED YOU WITH THIS ABILITY. I AM SO BLESSED TO HAVE MET YOU BENJAMIN. GOD BLESS MY FRIEND.

Comment added by Susie Randles on 02.07.14

We just drove Ben and his bike across the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, he is making his way to D.C. Good Luck and God Speed.

Comment added by David on 04.22.14

Ben stopped in Odenton, Md. I had drinks with him and talked about his journey. He is a nice guy. He is actually on his way to the site of the plane crash in Shanksville, Pa. I grew up close to there in W indber, Pa. He had peddled there four other times he told me. I believe him because he knew things about that area that you dont know unless you have been there. His main reason for doing his bike ride is to commemorate Veterans who have served. 9 11 2001 effected this man into doing this journey and he hasn’t stopped since. He has never worn a uniform but by just talking to him and seeing data online about him I feel he belong to our group of people. The man has passion. And cares about Veteran’s.

Comment added by Kent on 05.14.14



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