Casey Owens ‘appreciation party’ is Saturday | AspenTimes.com

Casey Owens ‘appreciation party’ is Saturday

Staff report

Aspen resident Casey Owens, a decorated veteran of the war in Iraq, has died.

An "appreciation party" is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 155 Miners Trail Road in Aspen. The public is invited to attend.

"He told me in numerous conversations that he wanted to be a career Marine and protect our community," friend Carol Cottrell said. "He's going to be doing his life's work in heaven now."

Owens decided to take his life Wednesday. He was 32.

Owens' legs were amputated after his Humveee struck a landmine in Baghdad on Sept. 20, 2004. He also suffered from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. He was a paralympic athlete and worked with Challenge Aspen.

"It separates you from your disability," Owens said of skiing in a 2007 interview with The Aspen Times. "I feel kind of normal again."

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Owens, who was outspoken about the aftercare of American veterans, grew up in Houston.