View Full Version : Celebrations turn to grief for families of N.C. Marines

10-09-05, 08:43 AM
Published: Oct 9, 2005
Modified: Oct 9, 2005 7:30 AM
Celebrations turn to grief for families of N.C. Marines

The Pentagon on Saturday identified six U.S. Marines from North Carolina bases who were killed by two roadside bombs last week in Iraq.

Hours before the identifications, families of two of the Marines named Saturday had been celebrating, one marking a graduation and the other preparing for a wedding. Then they learned they would be marking a different milestone in their lives.

In Pittsburgh, Pa., Katy Kenny, 19, had just graduated from boot camp for the U.S. Marines. The Sunday evening after she finished the grueling training, she got a special message -- a call from her older brother Lance Cpl. Patrick Kenny, 20, who was based at Camp Lejeune.

It was his second time serving abroad, family members said Saturday. He was on patrol, but one of his commanders lent Patrick Kenny his personal phone so he could congratulate his sister, family members said.

The next time the family heard word from Iraq was early Friday morning, when several Marines appeared at the family's front door. Patrick Kenny had been killed by a roadside explosive near Karmah, they said.

Lance Cpl. Shayne M. Cabino, 19 of Canton, Mass.; Cpl. Nicholas O. Cherava, 21, of Ontonagon, Mich.; and Pfc. Jason L. Frye, 19, of Landisburg, Pa. also died in that attack. All were based at Camp Lejeune. Kenny and Cherava were roommates and had known each other for two years, Cherava's mother, Sharon, said.

"Nick wanted to be a Marine since he could walk," she said of her son Saturday night, fighting through tears. But Nicholas Cherava's opinion of the war in Iraq changed after his first tour there.

"Nick told me 'Afghanistan, yes. But not this,' " Sharon Cherava said. "He said, 'It's not going to work. I signed up to protect my country, not these politicians.' "

Sharon Cherava said she opposed the war in Iraq before her son was killed. That feeling is now stronger. "I lost my boy, and I'm never going to see him again," she said, sobbing. "Doesn't anybody understand that?"

Patrick Kenny's family is now hoping he can return soon to Pittsburgh for a proper burial.

"He made everybody laugh," his sister, Molly, said. "He was a big teddy bear but solid as a rock."

The loss has not swayed Katy Kenny's resolve to become a U.S. Marine, she said. Once she says goodbye to her brother, she will get her base assignment, she said.

In Alliance, Ohio, the family of Lance Cpl. Daniel McVicker, 20, was expecting a similarly sorrowful homecoming. McVicker, who had been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb near Qaim along with Lance Cpl. Carl L. Raines II, 20, of Enterprise, Ala. Raines was based at Camp Lejeune.

In a room full of visitors Saturday, McVicker's parents and two teenage siblings flipped through photos from McVicker's high school activities: the football team, a vocal group, school plays.

Friday night, McVicker's hometown paid tribute at a high school football game. "They dropped the flag to half-mast for my boy," his father, Mark McVicker, said. "It was beautiful."

Raines' father, Carl, was in the military himself, serving two tours in Vietnam. His son was on his second stint in Iraq. "I just kept telling him, 'Be careful, be careful, be careful,' " the elder Raines said.

"It's going to take a long time to get over it. A really long time."

Cabino's family declined to be interviewed Saturday night.

(News researcher Lamara Williams-Hackett contributed to this report.)

Staff writer Samiha Khanna can be reached at 956-2468 or skhanna@newsobserver.com.