Jessie A Cassada

HENDERSONVILLE, NC, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, CO L, 3D BN, 8TH MAR, 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC NOW ZAD, AFGHANISTAN 01/06/2009


Jessie Adam Cassada always wanted to be a Marine, and he wanted to serve his country in Afghanistan, according to his best friend.

“He loved being a Marine,” said Cameron Sproles, who became friends with Cassada four years ago. “He always wanted to be a Marine – since he was a kid. Some of his family was in the Marine Corps, and he just wanted to serve his country.”

Cassada, 19, died Tuesday in combat in Afghanistan, where he had deployed in November. Family members confirmed the Marine died in Afghanistan while serving in the military, but Sproles said they had not yet gotten details about how he died.

Cassada joined the Marines just after graduating from East Henderson High School in 2007.

“He really wanted to go,” Sproles said. “He wanted to go and protect his country.”

Cassada is survived by his mother, Patricia Cassada, and stepfather, Carroll London, as well as sisters Lisa, 15, and Crystal, 17.

Sproles and other friends have created a memorial page for Cassada on the social networking Web site Facebook.

Cassada loved the outdoors and hunting and fishing, as well as football and swimming. Sproles described his friend as “a very strong guy, morally and physically.”

“He told me when he did go on to a better place, he wanted to be remembered as living with no regrets,” Sproles said.

Jessie’s portrait is also located on Poster 7