HICKMAN, Neb. (AP) – A 30-year-old Army staff sergeant from Nebraska is being remembered as a devoted family man after his death in Afghanistan.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Benjamin G. Prange died Thursday after the vehicle he was riding in hit an explosive device.

Prange was on his third tour in Afghanistan when he died. Another soldier – Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, of Visalia, California – was also killed in the same explosion.

Both soldiers were based in Fort Collins with the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Prange would have celebrated his 11th anniversary with his wife, Liz Prange, on Saturday. The two were high school sweethearts at Norris High School south of Lincoln and have two sons.

Former neighbor Josh Hicks remembers Prange as a nice guy.

“He worked hard and took care of his family,” Hicks said. “He was a really great father.”

Prange was raised near Hickman by his grandparents because his parents died when he was young. He joined the Army in 2007, and had been scheduled to return home this fall.

“He was loyal, devoted, family oriented,” said Devin Wilson, a friend of Liz Prange.

Courtney Brewthouwer, who went to school with Prange at Norris, said the news has been hard on people in Hickman who knew Prange.

Roy Baker, who was superintendent of Norris Public Schools when Prange was in school, remembered him as “just a good, solid kid.”

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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