21, of Cornish, Maine, assigned to Satellite Communications Specialist, Fort Hood, took her own life on Aug. 3, 2007, while serving in the U.S. Army.
She was born on Jan. 1, 1986, in Portsmouth, N.H., the daughter of Christine A. Peabody Hensley and Michael J. Cassavant.
To honor SPC Cassandra Lee Cassavant, her daughter, Chyann retrieved this stone from Fort Williams which is where you would find the Portland Headlight. This is what this stone says about SPC Cassavant.
Cassandra wanted to be an Astronaut. She was fun loving and inclusive. She helped others and her constant smile and positive attitude was contagious. She cared for others. She was smart and fun. She emulated the example of Christ is all she did and was very influential in the lives of others. She helped guide others to make good decisions and talk them out of making poor decisions. Cassandra loved her job in the Army and was the GO-TO person for her expertise and her enthusiasm. There is a great story when she raised everyone’s spirits in her Army unit when she playfully wrestled with another solider in the muddy ground. She always seem to know what others needed, she provided that extra kick to keep them focused and moving forward. She was fortunate to have her choice of her military specialty and she chose Satellite Communications which she just loved. She loved hiking and had a goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail. She love to challenge herself mentally and physically, but everything she did, she did with a smile.
Spc Cassandra Lee Cassavant
“Beloved Daughter, Mother, Soldier”
Written by Christine Hensley-Gold Star Mother
Christine writes each of us has purpose; do you want to know Cassandra’s? There are so many pieces of her tossing around my broken heart, like pebbles beating on pebbles battling on the beach, no winners, no destination just tumbled this way, then that. Over time her memories lose their sharpness becoming sweeter, smoother, softer. Then like a warm whisper of a breeze on a hot summer day my problem is spoken.
Who do I pick today to tell her story, to refresh in my mind, my only daughter, and my future? I want Cassandra to know she was loved by me no matter what the circumstances. However the love could have two sides, the kind, loving and the judgmental, constantly corrective side. Funny whatever I was correcting her about, she still managed a smile, a hug, and a brief glance that told me she was alright, safe and hopeful for the future.
I assumed she was on the mend. She was working to getting off base so she could send for daughter who was five. But the hope was shattered again with the sound of silence. No more words to say, no more ways to let her know, she did not need to carry everyone’s pain. She had visited the mental health clinic on base. I assumed she was getting the help she so desperately needed.
She was supposed to have the surgery that would make the physical pain end. Then she could go on with her life. She could go to IRAQ, IRAQ, IRAQ! Of all people, I knew she was hurting and stood by and did nothing. Now I bear the brunt of her actions. Some say she was selfish. Some say she was heartless for leaving a child behind. In any case her the ones who do remember, recall her honor, her sacrifice, her dedication to her job. She did what she could to keep them happy and secure, steadfast in the job of living a life well lived, an honorable life.
Family members don’t want to talk about what Cassandra’s choice. What she did to keep her dignity, she felt by not being here on this side of life, she would be giving us a life without her personal pain. She felt she was doing her duty by taking herself out. Some say she was no hero. She is not to be remembered at all. Not to be thought of because she did what she felt would stop the painful tickers because of the twisted ways in which she was mishandled by others imposing their will on her. I will NOT STOP talking about it. SUICIDE. It is not going away by shaming the people left behind. We suffer too. I thank anyone who has the courage to focus on what she did, NOT how she left. The people left behind, we suffer too.