Henderson County News: Friends, family and fellow soldiers remember Tony Case

Friends, family and fellow soldiers remember Tony Case

A junior member of the ROTC presents the flag to Tommy and Lori Redmond, Case’s stepfather and mother, as his niece Isabella Redmond watches.

Friends, family and fellow soldiers celebrated the life of Tony Case at a memorial service on Saturday at his alma mater, East Henderson High School.

The Henderson County Honor Guard presented the colors, fired a 21-gun salute and played “Taps” in her honor and two junior ROTC students presented a flag to the mother and father-in-law. by Tony, Lori and Tommy Redmond.
Case, a U.S. Army Afghanistan War veteran, committed suicide on November 19 at the age of 37. Due to public health restrictions on gatherings, the family were unable to hold a memorial until last weekend.
Tony’s cousin Blair Craven said he grew up with Tony in Hendersonville, became a roommate at East Carolina University, and had a great time with family and friends over the years. years.

Chris Whorley, a medic who went to the New Mexico service, attended training camp with Tony and the two became forward observers in northern Afghanistan. They stayed close after being demobilized from the army. A graduate of East Carolina University, Case could have become an officer. Instead, he chose to remain a sergeant.
TonyCas ArmySgt. Tony Case served as a forward observer with the 10th Mountain Division.“He was the kind of man who wanted to start at the bottom and work his way up and gain the confidence of his men,” Whorley said from the stage in the East auditorium, where Case has performed in several musicals. . “One thing that everyone can take away is not to suffer in silence. Talk to your friends, talk to your family. Who knows what could be different.
Jason Fields, another 10th Mountain Division veteran, described Case’s experience at Barge Matal as one of the most dangerous of the war.
“The Taliban came in because they were trying to stop the vote,” said Fields, who was a mortar shooter. The barge Matal was “the most dangerous place in Afghanistan at the time. There were no roads there and there were three mountains overlooking the village. Our unit came in to try to make it less of a refuge for the insurgents. “We arrived by helicopter. It has become the flashpoint for all the Taliban in this very raw area.
“When your job is to shoot bad guys, you couldn’t be in a place with more bad guys to shoot,” he said. “In any job you have good people and bad people, so bad people, you have to give them stupid things to do. Tony was really good at his job. He was one of the most advanced observers. more active of the unit. What the forward observers have to do is mark positions in the hills where they are attacking us or on the rivers from which they are attacking us. They try to pre-identify those targets. way, mortars and artillery from the main base can immediately point to this position.

“The OF is sort of the most important part of the shooting mission,” added Fields. “It’s extremely dangerous because you have to be right in front. POs cannot hide behind. You must be able to move with the commander. You have to be right in the middle to both direct fire and get the order to fire. “
After returning from Afghanistan, Case trained as a physiotherapy assistant, bought a motorhome, and left with his rescue dogs, Cerby and Willie Pete. He took physiotherapy jobs while traveling in Arizona, Washington state, and other places in the west. Friends and family said they saw no clue that Case was struggling.
“It was hard to take because he had some Facebook posts that looked so awesome – fishing, hunting,” Fields said. “You don’t realize that the suffering” is still there.
Did his friend Whorley have an idea?
“No, he did a very good job of covering up,” he said. “I saw him in October less than a month before he passed away and asked him if he was happy and doing well. He told me everything was fine.
“It was a total shock” when he received a text message about Tony’s death. “I must have reread it several times, (thinking) ‘No, that’s not real.’ Then I called her mother and she told me everything.

“Armed Forces Day,” said Shuford Edmisten during service, “is for those who are on active duty. Veterans Day is for those of us who have hung up our uniforms. Memorial Day is for those who are on active duty. who never had the chance to take off their uniforms, I guess it was Tony Case.
Following the memorial service, American Legion bikers, sheriff’s deputies and city police escorted the East Henderson High School funeral procession to American Legion Station 77 for a reception and barbecue dinner. Tony’s mother, Lori, was particularly impressed with the escort.
“She was really happy about it,” said Fields, a lawyer in Washington, DC.
“I thought the service was really wonderful,” he added. “After that, we had the chance to spend more time with the family. He had a very, very close family and we were very honored to have been able to spend time with them. It was not easy for them, but it can start the process of finding peace. “


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