- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Lance Cpl. Jessie A. Cassada
Died January 6, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
19, of Hendersonville, N.C.; was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 6 while supporting combat operations in Now Zad, Afghanistan.
Marines held special allure for Cassada
The Associated Press
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Clark said it was the Marines or bust for Jessie A. Cassada.
“No other branch of service was going to satisfy him. It was hard for him to finish his education, but he did it because he was determined to get in the Marine Corps,” said Clark, Cassada’s JROTC instructor.
Cassada, 19, of Hendersonville, N.C., died Jan. 6 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was a 2007 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.
“He would give his right arm for anyone,” said a friend, Todd Garren.
He is survived by his stepfather, Carroll London, and mother, Patricia Cassada.
“He was outgoing, he loved fishing and loved his family — he loved everyone,” his mother said. “He didn’t have a bad bone in his body.”
On a visit home last spring, the young Marine spoke to a few classes and gave them advice. “Pay attention to what teachers tell you because it’s not as easy you might think it is out there,” Cassada told them.
“He was a fine young man, and I would like the world to know that he was always a patriot and a good kid,” said Joyce Pruitt, a teacher.