Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Note From A Cousin of Casey Casavant, Iraq Vet and Blackwater Operative

Since I had my say - in which I hoped to reflect some admiration for the dead former Iraq soldier, Casey Casavant, and my feeling that he was not just "another" Blackwater "soldier of fortune" op, but perhaps failing badly in doing so - I feel it's only right to post, where it will be seen, a comment that arrived from Tamera Pariseau, who identifies herself as the E Montpelier VT native's cousin:
Casey wasn't "forced" to do anything. Casey was doing something he believed in, whether we agree with it or not, and for that I am extremely proud of him.

Casey's family is and always has been very proud of him and his service to his country. Please don't tarnish that by making assumptions about things you know nothing about.

I've never been a believer in this war, but I'm damn proud of my cousin.
You should be proud of your cousin.

As I wrote, I am no fan of Blackwater or of the Bush agenda in Iraq; that is quite separate, however, from those called upon to serve in the U.S. military. Your cousin did a most difficult job that was asked of him, not once but in three separate tours for the U.S. military.

My comment about "forced" through three tours was taken straight from the media, which has (often and quite reprehensibly) misreported; I should have made that clear.

My sincere sympathies to you and your family. I've lost loved ones in war as well as lost those I knew because they came back forever, irrecoverably changed by what they experienced. It's most terrible, even in the best supported wars.

I am encouraged, however, by the number of Google and other searches I see on Casey's name. Too often, I'm afraid, the dead in Iraq - civilian and military - go anonymous for all but their family and friends.


Anonymous said...

This post is so help to me! Thanks for share.

Barb Parsons said...

After reading this, I felt the need to respond.

Casey was my son and I miss him terribly. Our children should not die before the their parents. However, I am a believer in God and trust in His plan. His plan was not my plan. It was and is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through and no parent should have to go through anything like this.

However, he was a man who knew what he wanted and went after it. He thought long and hard about going to work for Blackwater because of the type of work he would be doing, but he was as well trained as anyone could be for that type of work and he chose to do it.

I have nothing but respect for Blackwater. One of their jobs is to protect our State Department officials who travel to countries involved in war and they hire the people who are well trained in that capacity to protect them. Someone has to do it. Blackwater was very good to Casey and to our family after his death.

Is it a job anyone would love? I don’t think that’s the reason these men do what they do, but you do have to be a certain personality to take on this task and I can only say thank God for them. I don’t believe anyone “likes” war. There are some who profit from it and probably like that aspect of it, but I find it hard to believe that anyone in their right mind thinks that killing is “fun” or “right” in most circumstances. However, in war, we are protecting our country and they are doing the job they have been trained to do.

Casey knew the risk he was taking and he knew that his life was in the balance, but he still chose to do it. Was I in favor of his decision? Of course not, but I respected his right to make that decision. I believe he did the job to the best of his ability.

None of us knows when our time will come to die, and we would probably not choose to die at a young age when there is so much living to be done. I have so much respect for all of our men and women who have served on the front lines and are willing to put their lives on the line for our country and our freedom. There is no price we can put on that. We should not take our freedom lightly. It is something precious that should be protected.

Casey’s memory is always with me. I miss him terribly but know I will see him again some day. That keeps me going.

Tammie, I respect your feelings. I just hope maybe I’ve provided you with some insight from my perspective.