Mississippi Marine Killed in Iraq Laid to Rest - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Summit 05/10/08

Mississippi Marine Killed in Iraq Laid to Rest

By Julie Straw

A Mississippi Marine was laid to rest in Summit Saturday.

Marine Lance Corporal Casey Casanova died in Iraq last Saturday along with three other marines when a missile struck their humvee.

Casanova is believed to be the first Mississippi woman to lose her life to the war in Iraq.

But this marine won't be remembered for how she died. She'll be remembered by how she lived.

One by one friends and family took the podium at New Heights Baptist Church, sharing memories of their brave marine.

"We're here to remember her and how she impacted everyone around her," said a speaker at the podium.

All of the lives here were made better by knowing Casey Casanova.

"You will begin to see the effects Casey had on everyone in her life. She will live on through these people," said Casanova's cousin Angelique Bennet.

The 22 year old lived her life with a purpose, to serve God with all she had.

Two years ago she chose to join the marine corps. 

Her friend Cpl. Christopher Bordelon was asked, "Why do you think she wanted to join so badly?"

Bordelon answered,"From what she told me she wanted to serve her country."

Casanova had been performing radio communications in Iraq for nearly three months.

She was engaged to be married to Marine Corporal Brandon Henderson.

No one could have known she would be taken so soon.

Her father Craig Casanova said, "Before she left for Iraq she said Daddy if something happens to me I want you to be sad that day it happens. But after that go about your life as you normally would, you know I'll be in your heart."

Her mother Paula Carruth said, 'Peace'. That's what I think her legacy will be. That she brings people together and that she brings them together in peace. That's what I want her legacy to be."

At Adams United Methodist Church Cemetery with full military honors, Corporal Casanova was laid to rest.

Paula Carruth says she'll never forget about the men and women who fought beside her daughter and continue to defend for our freedom.

"My daughter is gone, but they are still there doing what they are doing every day so that we could do this. That is my message and that will be my message for the rest of my life," said Carruth.

Casey Casanova's memorial was filled with music.

She loved to sing and play the steel drums.

Family members say she would not have had it any other way.

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