Sunday, April 23, 2006

Army Cpl. Shawn T. Lasswell Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Shawn T. Lasswell Jr., 21, of Reno, Nevada

Cpl Lasswell was assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died of injuries sustained April 23 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Taji, Iraq. Also killed were: Cpl. Jason B. Daniel and Sgt. Robert W. Ehney


U.S. Army Cpl. Shawn Thomas Lasswell, Jr., 21, was killed by an improvised explosive device, near Taji, northwest of Baghdad on Sunday. He and two other soldiers died when the Humvee they were in was attacked by terrorists using an IED with a remote detonation device.

Lasswell graduated from Valley High School in Las Vegas in 2001. He was even a member of the JROTC program. After graduation he moved to Reno, were he eventually joined the U.S. Army. After completing basic he was assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, TX.

Gov. Kenny Guinn issued a statement regarding the death of Lasswell. He stated that the death of the 21-year-old was a tragedy because of his youthfulness.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to Corporal Lasswell’s mother, family and friends," Guinn wrote. "Every brave soldier who gives his life in defense of our nation is missed so deeply. When a young man who is barely beginning life is tragically killed in action, it is especially painful for those left to reminisce about a life cut so short."

Lasswell originally grew-up in Cottage Hills, Ill., according to his step-mother Kim Lasswell. His stepmother stated that she remembered the young soldier as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy that she first met when he was five.

Lasswell moved to Las Vegas with his mother, Cathy Zehren when he was about 10. According to Kim, Shawn Jr. and Shawn Sr. kept in touch by telephone most of the next decade.

She said her stepson visited the area in June 2005 before leaving for Iraq shortly before Christmas that same year. She said he had grown into a handsome, broad-shouldered young man, standing taller than 6 feet.

"It was great seeing him again," Lasswell said. "He was all grown and completely different. He knew his job. He knew what he was doing."

Nevada Army National Guard spokeswoman Capt. April Conway said that there was some confusion over Lasswell's home of record.

"This happens sometimes where soldiers will enlist in one place and record another place as their home town," Conway said. "More than likely Cpl. Lasswell may have had a residence in Reno at one time and then chose to move back home with mom for a while before deploying."

Conway stated that the National Guard cannot even gain access to Lasswell's record to find where he took his oath of enlistment.

"That's because Lasswell was regular U.S. Army and not a member of the National Guard," said Conway. "This confusion has caused the media to claim he went to school at this place or the other in either Las Vegas or Reno. The fact still remains he listed Reno as his home of record and that is how the Department of Defense will officially keep it for now."

According to the Associated Press, Lasswell also visited Las Vegas prior to April 14 just before being deployed to Iraq. That visit was believed to have been to visit friends and his mother Cathy and his step-father.

Army Cpl. Shawn T. Lasswell Jr. died in action on 04/23/06.

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