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Casey Austin Sheehan (May 29, 1979–April 4, 2004) was a Specialist in the United States Army who was killed by enemy action while serving in the Iraq War. He is the son of Patrick Sheehan, a sales representative, and Cindy Sheehan, who subsequently became a prominent anti-war protester.

Early years

Sheehan joined the Cub Scouts at the age of six. At eight he became an altar server at his church. In 1996, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the second awarded by his Boy Scout Troop (180).

Sheehan graduated from Vacaville High School in Vacaville, Californiamarker with honors in 1997. Three years later, he graduated from Solano Community Collegemarker with an associate's degree in Drama.

Military service

In May 2000, Sheehan enlisted in the United States Army as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, MOS 63B. It has been reported that he may have considered enlisting as a Chaplain's assistantMOS 56M. (Sheehan had acted as an altar server during the Palm Sunday mass on the morning of his death).

Near the end of his active service, the U.S. invasion of Iraqmarker began. Sheehan re-enlisted, knowing that his unit would be sent there. Sheehan's division, the First Cavalry Division, was sent to Iraq. On March 19, 2004, Sheehan's Battery C, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, arrived at FOB War Eagle in Sadr Citymarker. On April 4, 2004, Sheehan was killed in action after volunteering to be part of a Quick Reaction Force to rescue American troops.

Burial

Sheehan is buried in Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery in Vacaville, California. In May 2006, his mother finally provided a tombstone at his grave following criticism that Casey, who died in 2004, lacked one. Cindy Sheehan paid for the tombstone herself, stating "It is important for the rest of Casey's family to have one... I guess the pain of seeing it etched in marble that he is dead is another pain I will have to deal with." Cindy Sheehan maintains that the U.S. "government should have paid for it because of its responsibility for his death." The Department of Veterans Affairsmarker does provide such monuments upon request.

Legacy

Casey Sheehan was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V for Valor posthumously for his actions April 4, 2004. The chapel at Fort Hoodmarker started a new Knights of Columbus chapter that was named the Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan Council. After his death, the Casey Austin Sheehan Memorial Award was created as an annual award to honor his memory.

See also

References

  1. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan - Someone You Should (Have) Know(n), Blackfive blog,
  2. Casey Sheehan, The Iraq Page
  3. For Some, a Loss in Iraq Turns Into Antiwar Activism: Gold Star Families Band Together to 'Make People Care', Washington Post, February 22, 2005
  4. Cindy Sheehan Has an Agenda, American Chronicle
  5. Claim: Cindy Sheehan failed to provide a tombstone for her son's grave -- Status: true, Snopes
  6. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan - Someone You Should (Have) Know(n), Blackfive blog
  7. Mother's Vigil Recalls Quiet, Dedicated Son, Associated Press, August 13, 2005


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