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Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette

December 10, 2012

This week’s American Hero is United States Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette of Cranston, Rhode Island. The 2001 graduate of Cranston High School East was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Holly was killed in action on June 23rd, 2005, In Fallujah, Iraq. According to a press release from the Pentagon, a  suicide bomber struck Charette’s convoy as she and a group of Marines returned to their base. At least four Marines, including Charette, were killed. Sadly, Holly was the very first female Marine killed in the war in  Iraq.

Holly’s aunt, Charlene Wheetman, stated:

“She wanted to become a Marine after 9-11. She wanted to do something for her country. She was a very proud Marine. Holly was a happy girl and loved by all of us and everyone that she knew.  Holly always looked at the positive side of everything. We are all missing a part of our hearts without her here.”

Her friend, Jaime Caniglia, stated:

“She was an awesome, awesome girl. I can definitely see her (joining the Marines). She was always ready to help anyone out.”

Her brother in arms, Thomas Strube of Wrightstown, NJ, wrote the following:

Hey girl, I really don’t know where I would start, except I miss you… I remember meeting you in Fallujah after you arrived at ECP 6, you saw I was a K9 handler and immediately approached to pet the dog, I thought you had a great smile, but was amazed to see your personality was just as good. You were such a positive person, and as the days gone by you became a friend… I miss you. Well, I’ll give you an update, I married in 2006 and my wife Rebecca had my son Jacob in 2008. After that deployment, I served another 2 tours, 2006, 2007 in Iraq, then got out in 2010 after my 2nd term. Became a contractor, deployed to Afghan(istan) in 2010, 2011, and now in back in Iraq 2011 and 2012… but all is well and the troops pulled out, crazy to think that considering we all never could really see the end any time back in 2005, but I guess that was 7 years ago… Anyways, your one of my HEROs and are among some others that I know… God bless… Semper Fidelis “devil dog”…

Sgt Shannon Phillips of MCB CL Jacksonville, NC wrote the following for Holly:

Hey Holly…I was just thinking about you and all you’ve done. I miss you and want you to know how much I thank you for your sacrifice. My thoughts are crowded today with images of you and your smiles. I want to cry but you know how it is…in uniform, you gotta hold your bearing. Sometimes, you just can’t help it. I love you so much and I miss you. Until one day…xoxo.

Today, Holly lies in rest at Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island. Her memory is without a doubt still very much alive in the hearts and memories of everyone who knew her. She will always be a United States Marine, but she will now forever be an American Hero.

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