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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Casey breezes through USMC marathon

casey.jpg Cpl. Casey Owens, Superstud.

As anyone who listens to Edd Hendee knows, Marine Cpl. Casey Owens is near and dear to the KSEV, Lone Star Times and Mattsapundit families. For those of you who don't know, the man -- a Houstonian -- is a living miracle. After 9/11, he left college to join the Marine Corps. Last fall, while on a mission to rescue a wounded comrade, Casey's Humvee hit a mine, peppering the young Marine with shrapnel, breaking his jaw and collarbone and shattering both legs, which later had to be amputated. Since then, the guy's been a nonstop dynamo. Over the weekend, he ran a marathon in just over two and a half hours. With his freakin' HANDS:

Casey Owens completed his first marathon yesterday, which is always a tremendous accomplishment. But it was especially so for Owens, who just over a year ago was injured in an antitank mine explosion in Iraq. As he crossed the Marine Corps Marathon finish line, the 24-year-old Marine corporal from Houston was mobbed by well-wishers, including Marine Commandant Michael Hagee. "It went great," Owens said. "It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be, a lot more enjoyable. I couldn't imagine a better marathon." Owens was the first Marine in a wheelchair to cross the finish line. Because he forgot to wear his timing chip, he did not receive an official time; however, he estimated that he finished in 2 hours 32 minutes. Not bad for a guy who hadn't used a handcrank chair until a month ago. "Pushing myself around in a wheelchair that was my training, and being a Marine," said Owens, who had his left leg amputated below his knee and his right leg amputated above his knee.
What's next for Casey? Well, apparently he's feeling pretty good about his prosthetic legs:
Owens, who has been rehabilitating at Walter Reed Military Hospital the past year, started walking about a month ago. He would like to run the marathon next year.
Is this guy human? Does anything faze him? Aha! He has a complaint about the race!
"It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be," Owens said. "It was too short. I got to Mile 20 and was like it's going to be over too soon."

WOW. It wouldn't suprise me if he tapdances blindfolded through next year's race while juggling Dumpsters. Casey, congratulations from Mattsapundit. You represent the very pinnacle of fortitude, persistence and cojones. You're a credit to your city, country and Corps, and we're all proud of you.


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