Local News

Soldier's Remains Due Back In N.C. This Week; More N.C. Casualties Identified

Posted June 27, 2004

— According to military officials, the body of a Winterville soldier killed in Iraq should be back in North Carolina early this week.

Capt. Christopher S. Cash, of Winterville, was killed Thursday. He was commander of Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry, which is headquartered in Jacksonville.

A National Guardsman and member of the 30th Heavy Separate Brigade, Cash was activated Oct. 1, 2003.

The 30th HSB also lost another member last week. The Department of Defense confirmed that Spec. Daniel A. Desens Jr., of Jacksonville, was killed in battle last Thursday.

Desens, 20, and Cash, 36, died June 24 in Baqubah, Iraq, when their Bradley fighting vehicle came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry.

Sgt. Marcus Spade, a spokesman for the North Carolina National Guard, said soldiers will escort Cash's body as it is brought home.

Spade said they are expecting him to be back in North Carolina sometime Tuesday evening.

Family and friends were in and out of Cash's home Saturday, and small American flags dotted front yards along the street.

A red, white and blue bow sat on the mailbox of the Cash home, and a larger flag flew near the doorway.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense announced Sunday that two Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., were killed in fighting in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Daniel B. McClenney, 19, of Shelbyville, Tenn., and Lance Cpl. Juston T. Thacker, 21, of Bluefield, W.Va., died June 24 from hostile fire in an ambush near Bari Khout, Afghanistan. They both were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune.

Thacker's body has been returned to U.S. soil. Marine Corps officers accompanied Thacker's body to the United States on Saturday.

Burial has not yet been scheduled. Military officials said it may take up to 10 days for Thaker's body to be returned to Princeton.

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