Sunday, August 21, 2005

Marine 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey

Remember Our Heroes

Marine 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey, 24, of Reno, Nevada.

2nd Lt. Cathey died of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Al Karmah, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

More than 200 people, including Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., and state Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Nev., honored Marine Corps 2nd Lt. James Cathey, 24, during an emotional funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno.

The Reno native was killed by an explosive device Aug. 21 after only one month in Iraq. His unit was operating and training with Iraqi security forces near Al Karmah and Fallujah.

“James was a young man who was living his dream, serving as a Marine,” the Rev. Tom Czack said. “He was a kind, giving man who was serving his country.

“For those who are peacemakers, they’ll be the children of God. In this time of trial let us stand in faith,” Czack added.

The service began with a procession of Marines who carried the casket to the front of the altar, with family members trailing behind.

In a brief address, his mother, Carolyn Cathey, described the lieutenant as a “humble, selfless romantic.”

“He had a smile that would light up a room. He had those blue eyes that could talk without saying a word,” she said. “His life was short, but he accomplished a lot. Maybe we should all strive to be a little like James.”

His wife, Katherine Cathey, found out that her child, due in five months, would be the boy that her husband knew it would be.

James Cathey was a graduate of Reno High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Marine 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey was killed in action on 08/21/05.

Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News

When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process: "See the people in the windows? They'll sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home," he said. "They're going to remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should."

Cathey Coffin

Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News

The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."

Mrs Cathey

"In two pictures of 24 year old 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey's final trip home...Todd Heisler, Rocky Mountain News photographer, captured the solemnity, brotherly respect as well as the sorrow over the death of one of America's youthful fallen Marine Heroes. In Heisler's heartbreakingly sweet image of a pregnant Katherine Cathey "sleeping for one last time" beside her husband's coffin, ... while playing the couple's favorite tunes on her CD, .... he brought forth for all time, a searing picture of the awful pain of loss."

Fay Jordaens...A Soldiers' Angel.

James Cathey Jr

Larger Images


Anonymous said...

Of all places to have a discussion about the Cathey family, was in the beauty salon. I had gotten reacquainted with a Marine Captain, whose husband is in 2/2. I receive emails on a regular basis about our Marines who have been killed. The one picture that is eternally burned my memory was the picture of Mrs. Cathey, in a makeshift bed, next to Lt Cathey's coffin.

I'm a fmr Marine also. I knew the SgtMaj of his Regiment. I also knew his Battalion Commander, Captain Schmidt. Both the SgtMaj and the Capt, along with the Captain's husband (I'm unsure of his rank) were deeply effected by 2ndLt Cathey's death. Through it all, 2/2 became as close as brothers.

Even in the darkness, approximately 50 feet away, the SgtMaj recognized one of his Marines--- that's just how close they had all become.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Sgt M L Stevens

Anonymous said...

i am the mother of Ssgt Raphael Futrell who passed away 3-25-2009, i am just now seeing the Cathey picture i wish i could have held my son in my arms, i really felt for her. the pain is nothing i can explain, Godbless her and her family. ms Vicki Futrell Anderson South Carolina

Terri Rager said...

Henry G - Yes you may...and thank you.

panjaitan frankrif said...

I'm not American, but I love seing, watching and reading those true stories bout the US army specially marines.Since the time they rised the flag in Iwojima, till the coming of their dead body, and how all the American fully respect them, sometimes cause tears drop on my cheek.I love U all and have a dream to wellcome You home in US.

Tats said...

How can we get into contact with her? I was also a Marine and by the grace of God i made it back alive but I would love to get into contact with her.

Jodie A Myers said...

A work for TAS and everytime a service person comes along I shake their hand and hug them. I say a prayer for each and everyone of them. I tell them they are my hreo's and they are. I cry for you and you are in my prayers. God Bless you and your family. Now YOU are my HERO! TSO Jodie A. Myers

Ashley Romereim said...

What a touching and heartbreaking story. How blessed are we to be protected by so many amazing men and women who give their all, sometimes even their lives. God bless our troops and our country.

Anonymous said...

This story literary brought tears to my eyes. God rest his soul. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family!

Poems by John said...

a complete poem by John Storrs

Sergeant, please let me stay
Don't make me go to be
Alone with my tears

I see you have a purple heart
He has one that doesn't
Beat anymore

All my fears would go away
When I fall asleep
In his arms

It is a differant place
He goes tomorrow
And he waits

You say that you
Can't leave
But I'm here

Sergeant, please let me stay
Your heart is telling
You what to do

Beth Conner said...

in memorium and respect