Letter: A positive influence from Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club
In reference to the story (“Marine faces 21 years for using Casey Owens’ story for financial gain,” Dec. 1, The Aspen Times) concerning my fellow Marine and friend Casey Owen , who lost both legs in Iraq; I was quoted as saying Casey was doing fairly OK for some time after his injuries and that everyone in the valley who knew him realized his struggle and did their all to help and encourage him.
But none did as much as the Aspen Ski and Snowboard Club and its super-committed coach, Jonathan Mika. The Ski Club disabled program kept him going, gave him friends and reasons to be alive. When Casey dropped out of it, his life lost its meaning and he succumbed to drinking, which in turn lead to his downfall.
I miss Casey. I miss his skiing, his marching in the July 4 Parade, and the comradeship of a fellow Marine. But in conclusion, kudos to the Aspen Ski Club, its program director Jonathan Mika, all of Casey’s friends in that program and friends outside of it for keeping him going and in a decent frame of mind as long as we did.