US Marine Corporal Casey Owens, born 1981, in Houston, Texas. Beloved son of Janna Dunkel; beloved brother of Lezleigh.
Cpl Casey Owens was a United States Marine, an Iraq War Veteran and a Paralympic athlete.
Casey served in the United States Marine Corps from 2002 to 2004 with two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On September 20, 2004, serving under 1st Battalion 7th Regiment, in Al Anbar Province, Cpl Owens was responding to a wounded Marine when his vehicle struck two anti-tank mines which resulted in severe injuries to his legs. After being airlifted to and stabilized at a Field Hospital, Owens was transferred to Landstuhl, Germany. Tragically, his injuries resulted in the amputation of his right leg above the knee and his left leg below the knee. Corporal Owens eventually returned to the United States to undergo extensive multiple surgeries and rehabilitation at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The muscle and skin on his amputated limbs failed to close properly causing painful wounds. He subsequently underwent repeated amputations which further reduced the size of his right limb while a patient at VA and military hospital. Through the help of several charitable organizations and private pay from his own pocket, Owens received hyperberic oxygen therapy treatment in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2009.
Cpl Casey Owens, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, became an advocate for the treatment of Veterans. He testified before the United States Congress in hearings regarding the poor quality of care and “bureaucratic maze and red tape” that military personnel must navigate in order to receive medical care from the VA.
After a return to college which proved unsuccessful due to PTS and TBI, Corporal Owens became an accomplished paralympian skier and marathon competitor in the Paralympic Games.
In 2012, during a News Interview with CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin, Owens stated “I really don’t think I will ever be free. I don’t think the burden of war is ever gone.”
Cpl Casey Owens lost his battle with PTS, October 16, 2014, at his home in Aspen, Colorado. He was 32 years old.