Can you give me an insect ID?

prairiemoon2 z6b MA
last month
last modified: last month

I have never seen one of these bugs in the garden and it is SO big! I could see it on the plant from 10ft away. Quickly got a photo of it. I didn't get close enough to it, to see it too clearly, but when I looked at the photo, it appears to be a Preying Mantis. Can someone confirm that for me?

I have always heard they are beneficial, do you have any experience in your garden with these?

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