The fondest memories of her son, the last time they spoke a week ago, her feelings of him being stationed in Iraq; Caroline Cathey was very proud of her only son in everything he did and everything he accomplished.
Lt. Cathey had only been in Iraq since July. It was his third mission. He was stationed at Camp Lejune in North Carolina. Cathey enlisted in the Marines right after graduating Reno High School in 1998.
The 24-year-old went onto a commission program in the corp, where he got his college degree in three years. Cathey was honors in history with a cum laude in anthropology. Family members say he loved hunting and sports. He played for the Giants in little league, and at eight years old was a national gold medallist in Tai Kwan Do, but Cathey's mother says her son was most proud of serving his country.
He wasn't due home until February, but his mother says he planned on continuing his service with hopes someday of being a history professor.
Caroline Cathey says, "I'm most proud that he was a good human being and that he's willing to give his life so we have our liberties and our freedom."
Joyce Cathey, his sister, adds, "I told him he was my hero; he's always been my hero."
Lt. Cathey was married to his wife Katherine of one and half years. When he left for Iraq she was five months pregnant.
The family just learned Tuesday that the two were going to have a baby boy. Cathey's mother said that was her son's greatest hope and she said despite the tragic loss, she still supports the efforts of the troops in Iraq.
A funeral mass has been set for this Saturday at Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in downtown Reno. There will be a memorial Sunday at Mountain View Mortuary. You can also send your condolences to the family at second lieutenant james cathey @ yahoo.com