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IRAQ: Mother grieves for daughter killed

Casanova_casey Her mother had begged Casey Casanova, her only child, not to enlist in the Marines during wartime.

She encouraged her to "get out of the small town" of McComb, Miss., to "get options for herself," Paula Carruth told WLBT-TV in Jackson, Miss. "I never imagined it would be the Marine Corps, but she made her choice."

On Wednesday, the Marine Corps announced that Lance Cpl. Casey L. Casanova, a field radio operator, was among four Marines from Camp Pendleton killed by a roadside bomb Friday in Anbar province.

She was 22 and engaged to marry a Marine in September. She had talked of studying in San Diego to be a nurse when her enlistment was finished.

Casanova was the 97th U.S. female service personnel killed in Iraq, according to the independent website icasualties.org. The 97 include 79 Army, nine Navy, seven Marine Corps and two Air Force personnel. Women make up about 2% of the nearly 4,100 U.S. troops killed in Iraq.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first since the U.S. greatly increased the number of billets opened to women. Although federal law prevents women from serving in the infantry, they are in numerous jobs that put them in harm's way.

By comparison, of the 58,195 people listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, only eight are women.

"I never thought my daughter wasn't coming home," Carruth told the TV station. "I never put that in my heart or mind.... She was the best thing I did in my whole life."

—Tony Perry, in San Diego

Photo: Paula Carruth holding a picture of her daughter, Marine Lance Cpl. Casey Casanova. Credit: Aaron Rhoads, (McComb, Miss.) Enterprise-Journal

Comments () | Archives (6)

Was Casey had met my sister. My sister was a marine who was killed last year March 22 and She talked so highly of her how young she was but she had the brains of a smart profesor. She was always happy. My sister had said she made her laugh because they had a inservice type thing and she was smiling no matter what the bad was or their terms of life. Very pretty girl. I know how you feel, im so sorry for your loss

"A son's a son till he takes a wife. A daughter's a daughter all of her life." Or so it was. Sure, girls can die in other ways. But this is not going to be easy for the mom. This is a very empty nest all of a sudden. She looks younger than I am (and I have a daughter that age who is not driven by economic necessity to enlist; my sister's step-daughter has enlisted). I would hope that in the years to come the mom finds some way to foster another daughter. There could be a girl somewhere who would benefit from her understanding and her pride in accomplishment. But for the moment, I am sure her soul is just shattered.

I am deeply saddened by the death of LCpl Casanova and the three Marines who died beside her. I feel the grief, having lost my boyfriend last year in Iraq. May God Bless her family in dealing with her tragic and untimely passing.

I am deeply saddened by the death of LCpl Casanova and the three Marines who died beside her. I feel the grief, having lost my boyfriend last year in Iraq. May God Bless her family in dealing with her tragic and untimely passing.

I went to bootcamp with her. I remember training with her and she will be missed. My prayers go out to the family.

I was extremely saddened to read this story and grieve for the mother and fiance of Casey Casanova. It's impossible to comprehend what they are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with them all. Rest in peace Casey.
- A grateful American


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