Darlene Dolen holds a picture of her son, Marine Lance Cpl. LCpl James A. Casper, 20, who died in Iraq in 2004.
GROESBECK (May 26, 2014) A fallen Marine originally from Coolidge has finally been recognized by Limestone County on their memorial wall that was built in the late 1980’s to honor local veterans who died serving in the military overseas.
Lance Cpl. James A. Casper, 20, died March 25, 2004 due to a non-combat related incident in Al Asad, Iraq.
Casper’s mother, Darlene Dolen, says losing her son has been one of the hardest tribulations she’s ever faced.
“When the men in uniform came to the door I said, ‘you already have one of my sons you can't have the other one,’" Dolen said.
"It just tore everyone up. He was kind, respectful, and a good friend to everybody."
According to Dolen, her son’s death still remains a mystery to her. To this day, she claims his casualty report is misleading, and after making numerous inquiries about his death, still doesn’t know exactly how he died more than a decade later.
“He’s an American, one of our fallen heroes, and it’s strange to me why the government didn’t do a good job thoroughly explaining what happened to him to his mother or his family,” Dolen said.
To make things harder, Casper’s name hasn’t been added to the Limestone County Veteran’s Memorial Wall since his death in 2004; a problem that was finally fixed Monday morning after a judge in the courthouse pushed to update the wall.
For Dolen, she now has more than just photos and memories to cherish, as her son’s legacy has finally been etched in stone.
“It’s good to know there are still people out there who respect our military and what they've done for this country," Dolen said.