Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Casey Michael LaWare

Casey Michael LaWare

Redding, California

April 9, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
19 Army Pfc

2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

Fort Irwin, California

 Died April 9 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, from non-combat related injuries sustained April 6 in Al Mahmudiyah, Iraq.

For Some Memorial Service Snapshots Click Photo Below

Memorial Service for Pfc Casey Michael LaWare - Photos by Q Madp

April 16, 2005

As a child, Casey M. LaWare didn't like to hunt because he didn't want to shoot anything. But he was proud of his family's military service _ he slept with his grandfather's World War II wool blanket and was so proud of his uniform that he wore it on trips home against regulations. "The Army was what he wanted to do. He was really proud to be there," said his mother, Kathy Grace. LaWare, a 19-year-old from Redding, Calif., died April 9 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany after he was severely burned in a guard tower fire in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, three days earlier. He was based at Fort Irwin. Before he even graduated from high school, LaWare enlisted in the Army, where he was trained as a sharpshooter and shipped to Iraq. Grace said that her son liked being in the Army but wasn't eager to fight. He was known as a quiet man who always helped with neighborhood chores. "Casey had the values of a young man from decades past," his company commander said. "He was born 60 years too late."
Redding soldier dies in Iraq

Associated Press

REDDING, Calif. — As a child, Pfc. Casey M. LaWare didn’t like to hunt because he didn’t want to shoot anything.

But before he even graduated from high school, LaWare enlisted in the Army, where he was trained as a sharpshooter and shipped to Iraq.

LaWare, a 19-year-old from Redding, died Saturday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. LaWare was severely burned in a guard tower fire in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, three days earlier.

He sustained second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body. An official cause of the fire has not been released by the military.

“The Army was what he wanted to do. He was really proud to be there,” Casey’s mother, Kathy Grace, told the Redding Record Searchlight.

LaWare’s family was originally told that his injuries were not life threatening before receiving the bad news.

“We were so sure he was on his way home,” Grace said. “We were ready to help him through the long recovery. We were really just hopeful.”

Grace said that her son liked being in the Army but wasn’t eager to fight. When asked as a child whether he would like to go hunting, Casey had replied, “Absolutely not. I don’t want to shoot anything,” his father, Michael LaWare, recalled.

LaWare was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Irwin, Calif. He was deployed to the Mosul region in northern Iraq in January as part of the buildup of U.S. forces for the Iraqi election.
From The Los Angeles Times latimes.com 04/17/05:

Army Pfc. C. LaWare, 19; Dies After Fire
April 17, 2005|Natasha Lee | Times Staff Writer
In a March 17 letter to his cousin, Casey LaWare described adjusting to long work hours and the enjoyment he got from sharing candy with Iraqi children.

"He wanted to be in the Army. He wanted to serve his country," said the cousin, Kendall Grace, 19, of the Northern California city of Redding.


Army Pfc. Casey M. LaWare, 19, had been in Iraq just three months when he was severely burned in a guard tower fire April 6 in Al Mahmudiyah, relatives said. He died from his injuries three days later at a military hospital in Germany.

The incident was not combat-related and was under investigation, according to the Department of Defense.

LaWare, an infantryman, was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment from Ft. Irwin, Calif. He was promoted to specialist posthumously.

LaWare, who grew up in Redding, joined the Army in January 2004, shortly after graduating from Enterprise High School. He was part of his troop's sniper team, and was one of a few to successfully shoot through the middle of a quarter from 100 yards away, said his uncle, Dick Grace, 48. The achievement was a big honor for LaWare, Grace said.

"The hands-on activities from the Army appealed to him," his uncle said. "He was challenging himself."

Beneath LaWare's quiet demeanor was a goofy, fun-loving guy who enjoyed snowboarding at Mt. Shasta and playing basketball with friends.

He was happiest spending time with his family and participating in annual traditions -- gathering at his grandmother's house for Thanksgiving dinner and cutting down a Christmas tree the next weekend, Kendall Grace said.

LaWare especially cherished summer camping trips to Middle McCloud Falls, where he would jump from the top of the falls and stay up all night talking with cousins and friends.

"We'd stay and talk for hours or we'd just lay there," Kendall Grace said. "Sometimes we didn't need to say anything; just being in each other's company was enough."

LaWare is survived by his parents, Michael LaWare and Kathy Grace of Redding, and his sister, Autumn LaWare, also of Redding.

A memorial service was held Saturday at North Valley Baptist Church in that city.

Wednesday, April 13. 2005

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Redding Soldier Pfc. Casey M. LaWare
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Pfc. Casey M. LaWare of Redding, CA:
"At this incredibly difficult time, Maria and I want to offer our heartfelt condolences to Casey's family and friends. Serving in the armed forces is a noble calling with grave risks. Pfc. LaWare bravely assumed those risks and we honor his courage and commitment to our country."
LaWare, 19, died April 9 from non-combat related injuries sustained in Al Mahmudiyah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, CA.
In honor of LaWare, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Army Pfc. Casey M. LaWare, 19, had been in Iraq just three months when he was severely burned in a guard tower fire April 6 in Al Mahmudiyah, relatives said. He died from his injuries three days later at a military hospital in Germany. The incident was not combat-related and was under investigation, according to the Department of Defense.
LaWare, an infantryman, was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment from Ft. Irwin, Calif. He was promoted to specialist posthumously.
Casey continued a long line of military service in his family. He slept with his grandfather's World War II wool blanket. He was so proud of his uniform that he wore it on trips home -- against regulations. And after Casey suffered his burns in the guard tower fire, he asked constantly about his injured mates, at least one of whom later died. 
"Casey had the values of a young man from decades past," Randall said, reading a tribute from the soldier's company commander. "He was born 60 years too late." Casey had enjoyed drawing and writing poetry. Autumn, Casey's older sister, read a poem called "Lonely" that Casey had written in high school. "Death can be unfair when it snatches those not ready," one eerily prescient verse said. 
From U-T San Diego utsandiego.com 04/18/05:

Soldier's memorial: A 19-year-old soldier killed in a guard tower fire in Iraq was buried in Redding by a community who remembered him as a quiet man who helped with neighborhood chores and fulfilled a childhood dream by enlisting. Army Pfc. Casey Michael LaWare was honored Saturday with a 21-gun salute. His parents were presented a Bronze Star for LaWare's meritorious service. LaWare died April 9 after he was burned in a guard tower fire in Mahmudiya. LaWare was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Irwin. Friends and family said LaWare continued a long line of military service. He slept with his grandfather's World War II wool blanket and was so proud of his uniform that he wore it on trips home against regulations. About 600 people attended the service.

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