Monday, May 05, 2008

McComb, MS Marine Killed By IED In Iraq

Lance Corporal Casey Casanova of McComb, Miss., was one of four Marines killed Friday when an improvised explosive device went off near the vehicle they were driving in the Anbar province. Family members said that this was Casanova's second year as a Marine. She was deployed in January to Iraq.

"She didn't have to join the Marines, it was a choice she made," said Craig Casanova, Casey's father. "She just felt like she had a purpose in life when she joined the marines and was just happy doing what she was doing."

Casey Casanova's mother, Paula Carruth lives in McComb. She said the 22-year-old was a musician with a great singing voice, and she played the drums.

Clarion Ledger

"A roadside bomb in Iraq has claimed the life of a 22-year-old Marine from McComb who dedicated her life to helping others.

Lance Cpl. Casey Casanova was one of four Marines riding in a Humvee in the western Anbar province Friday night when the bomb exploded, killing all four, family members said.

Casanova is thought to be the first woman from Mississippi killed in combat in Iraq.

Casanova's mother, Paula Carruth, said military officials are expected to provide more details about her death later today.

A 2004 graduate of Bass Memorial Academy in Lumberton, Casanova joined the Marines in 2006. The radio communications specialist was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 14.

For Carruth, the last three months have been filled with anxiety and worry - and now sadness.

"The way she grew up, I never dreamed the miliary would be something she wanted to do," Carruth said by telephone from her home in McComb on Monday. "I'm not going to lie to you. I tried to talk her out of it every day. But she has a strong will, and she said that's what she wanted.

"We expected that she would call us and say she's ready to quit and come home, but we found out just how strong she really was. She was a lot stronger than we gave her credit for."

Those who knew Casanova were amazed by her musical talents and her kindness toward others, she said.

In high school, she spent summers as a junior youth camp counselor. She also worked as a volunteer with various social organizations.

But it was her smile and singing voice that will be unforgettable, her mother said.

After high school, she went to Southwest Mississippi Community College on a music scholarship. Casanova was asked to sing during a Marine event at Camp Pendleton in California.

"Her favorite song was anything country. I called her my dancing cowgirl," Carruth said. "The last song I remember her singing was Carrie Underwood's Jesus, Take the Wheel.

Carruth began to sing the lyrics to the song:

"Jesus, take the wheel,

Take it from my hands,

Cause I can't do this on my own

I'm letting go."

Casanova had plans to one day raise a family and become a nurse after the military, Carruth said.

She was engaged to Brandon Henderson, a fellow Marine she met while in California.

The two were supposed to get married later this year when Casanova returned from Iraq.

"None of our lives are ever going to be the same," Carruth said. "You don't know the kind of impact Casey had on the lives of her friends and family.

One of those touched by Casanova's life was Lori Davis, a friend of the family. She said her love for others and her ambition were extraordinary.

"She had a way of touching you when she talked, when she wrote ... she was just an all-around inspiration, and I thank God she was in my life for the short time we had her," Davis said."


Call Me Grandma said...

I have no words...except I feel deeply for her family. May the words of our good Lord give them comfort.

Veterans - Liza said...

oh that's so sad to know. I know that they can through this trial with God's help.


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