Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette.
Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette
Died June 23, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
21, of Cranston, R.I.; assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed June 23 when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.
Rhode Island Marine killed in Iraq bombing
By Eric Tucker
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A female Marine from Cranston who died in a suicide bombing attack in Iraq was remembered Saturday as a popular high school cheerleader who was “always ready to help anyone out.” Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, died Thursday after a vehicle carrying explosives struck her vehicle in Fallujah, the Defense Department said. She was the first female Marine killed in Iraq.
“She wanted to become a Marine after 9-11,” Charlene Wheetman, Charette’s aunt, said Saturday in a statement on behalf of the family. “She wanted to do something for her country. She was a very proud Marine.”
Jaime Caniglia said she didn’t know her former teammate on the Cranston High School East hockey cheerleading squad was serving in Iraq until she saw Charette’s photo in a newspaper Saturday. “She was an awesome, awesome girl,” said Caniglia, who also worked with Charette at a CVS store. “I can definitely see her (joining the Marines). She was always ready to help anyone out.”
Gov. Don Carcieri on Saturday ordered state flags lowered in honor Charette. A suicide bomber struck Charette’s convoy as she and a group of Marines returned to their base Thursday. At least four Marines, including Charette, were killed, and 11 of the 13 injured troops were women, the Pentagon said Saturday. Al-Qaida in Iraq said it carried out the fatal ambush.
“Holly was a happy girl and loved by all of us and everyone that she knew,” Wheetman said. “Holly always looked at the positive side of everything. We are all missing a part of our hearts without her here.”
State flags will fly at half-staff until Charette’s internment, Carcieri said in a statement. “Her sacrifice represents the best Rhode Island has to offer,” Carcieri said. U.S. Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I., expressed “profound sorrow… As a soldier in Iraq and Rhode Island citizen she served with dignity and honor.”
Charette, a 2001 graduate of Cranston High School East, was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Charette recently deployed to Iraq’s Anbar province from Camp Lejeune, where she worked delivering mail, according to a story from early last month posted on the Marine Corps official Web site. Charette is at least the seventh Rhode Island resident to die in Iraq and was the second military woman with ties to the state to be killed.
Rhode Island woman killed by suicide bomber in Iraq
Manchester Union Leader, June 25, 2005
CONVOY AMBUSHED: Rhode Island woman killed by suicide bomber in Iraq Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A suicide car bomber and gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying female U.S. Marines in Fallujah, killing two Marines and leaving another four American troops presumed dead, the military said Friday. At least one woman, a Marine from Rhode Island, was killed and 11 of 13 wounded were female.
The terror group al-Qaida in Iraq claimed it carried out the bombing, one of the single deadliest attacks against the Marines – and against women – in this country. The high number of female casualties spoke to the lack of any real front lines in Iraq, where U.S. troops are battling a raging insurgency and American women soldiers have taken part in more close-quarters combat than in any previous military conflict. The Defense Department identified the Rhode Island Marine as Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, of Cranston. Charette was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. She was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Women do not serve in combat but female Marines are used at various checkpoints around the city to search Iraqi women in order to be sensitive to Muslim culture.
Charette was with a group of Marines returning to their base after a long day of duty, when the suicide car bomber struck the convoy. Then gunmen opened fire, killing a male Marine, the military said.
She said she had never thought about joining the Marines until college, when a recruiter was canvassing and showed her a video about boot camp. “When I get out, I plan to apply to the U.S. Post Office,” Charette said at the time. “It won’t be the same as being a Marine, but at least I’m still in uniform.”
Another four American troops were presumed dead in the Fallujah attack, the military said Friday. Eleven of 13 wounded were female. The terror group al-Qaida in Iraq claimed it carried out the attack, one of the single deadliest against the Marines – and against women – in Iraq.