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Sunday, November 18, 2007

A soldier comes home

Law enforcement officers salute as the casket bearing the remains of Pfc. Casey Mason, a graduate of Farwell High School, comes off a charter jet at Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport Sunday morning. (Morning Sun photo by Mark Ranzenberger)

Pfc. Casey Mason came home Sunday morning.
The 22-year-old Farwell High School graduate died in Iraq last week. His body arrived on a charter jet mid-morning Sunday at Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport.

An escort of police officers met the soldier’s flag draped casket on the ramp in front of the E.H. Tope Terminal. A U.S. Army sergeant and members of Mason’s family also were there.
Low, dark clouds slid across the sky, and temperatures hovered at the freezing mark as the casket was brought from the twin-engine aircraft onto a portable elevator. A northeast wind rippled the flag covering Mason’s casket as it came off the plane.
The law enforcement officers saluted and stood at attention as the casket was lowered, the silence on the field broken only by a muffled sob from an onlooker.
The hearse was escorted to the Lux Funeral Home in downtown Mt. Pleasant by an escort of seven police vehicles from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, Mt. Pleasant Police, the multi-jurisdictional Isaballa County Traffic Team and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police.
The funeral for Mason, the son of Jeffrey and Robbin Mason of Cadillac, is set for Tuesday morning at 10:30 at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Church. Deacon Larry Fussman is to officiate.
Visitation is set for Mondayfrom 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Mason is to be buried in Haring Township Cemetery near Cadillac.
Mason was killed in combat last Tuesday in Mosul, Iraq. Mason died after enemy forces attacked his unit using small arms fire, according to Sgt.1st Class David Gillespie of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii.
Mason was a military police officer assigned to the 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. A memorial service is set for this week, as well, for Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Mason had joined the Army in October 2006 after working at Lux Funeral Home and the Mobile Medical Response ambulance service. His unit had been in Iraq since September.
Friends remember him as a great young man with a good sense of humor, with passions for golfing, riding all-terrain vehicles, computers and firearms.
His family has asked that memorials be made to Hospice of Central Michigan to support construction of the Hospice House.


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