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Old 03-21-2007, 03:25 PM
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Sgt Adam Leigh Cann, USMC, 23, Davie, FL (Iraq)

Arlington National Cemetery

Adam Leigh Cann
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

Saturday, 7 January 2006:
Leigh Cann had known for just four hours that his son Adam was dead when, at 2:30 a.m. Friday, unable to sleep, he started writing.

''I'll miss my boy, for the rest of my life. He was the best; always laughing, always responsible, striving to excel, always loving his family, serving his country,'' Cann wrote.

Marine Sergeant Adam Leigh Cann was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq on Thursday, his family said -- one of an estimated 58 people killed in the Ramadi bombing. The bomber had infiltrated a line of police recruits in the city north of Baghdad. A second U.S. soldier also died in the attack. Dozens more were wounded. They included Adam's roommate and another friend, his father said.

He doubted they knew yet that Adam was dead.

Adam was 23, just three weeks from his 24th birthday when he died.

Almost 24 hours later, Leigh Cann still couldn't sleep on Friday. He and Adam's stepmother, Carol, who both work at the Florida Department of Transportation offices in Miami, spent the day at home in Davie.

They fielded phone calls all day from friends, family and lawmakers offering condolences. Leigh Cann stopped checking his e-mails. There were too many.

Leigh Cann wore a green and gold sweat shirt for Camp Pendleton, where Adam had been based. A picture of Adam in his Marine uniform hung over one patio door, a picture of Adam's older brother Justin, also a Marine, above the second.

''The minute he walked through door was always like a high school reunion. People just came out of the woodwork,'' said Adam's stepbrother, Jason Burnside. ``He was quick with a joke, always laughing, quoting movie lines. We miss him.''

Adam joined the military after graduating from South Plantation High School in 2000, Leigh said.

He was on his second Iraqi tour in his second enlistment with the military. He already had served one tour in Afghanistan and another in Iraq.

But he wanted to go back. Adam signed up again, Leigh Cann said.

Adam's second Iraqi tour started near the borders of Jordan and Syria, but Adam asked to be moved deeper into Iraq. Adam wanted to be closer to the action, Leigh Cann said.

Adam served with a K-9 unit used for security, like detecting bombs and narcotics, Leigh said. Adam also was in charge of five other K-9 units spread between five bases, Leigh Cann said.

About six weeks ago he moved to Ramadi, Leigh Cann said.

They talked to him last on Christmas Day. In between calls, Adam sent e-mails. His family followed the news for updates.

In his last message, Adam told his family he wanted to go to a few Miami Dolphins games. Adam loved the Dolphins, taking his posters and other fan gear all the way to Camp Pendleton in California, Leigh Cann said.

Adam's tour was scheduled to end in March.

''It was my greatest fear,'' Leigh Cann said. ``But I didn't think it was possible.''
Family mourns heroic son
Marine, 23, died shielding others during attack in Iraq
January 8 2006

DAVIE Leigh and Carol Cann had heard the stories before about Marine deaths in Iraq and the dreaded knock on the door from the men in green uniforms.

It was always someone else's son.

At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the knock was on the Canns' front door in Davie. This time, it was their Adam.

"I saw the three Marines. I knew that things were real bad," Leigh Cann said Saturday. "I knew it was Adam."

His son, Sergeant Adam Cann, was killed by a suicide bomber Thursday in Ramadi, Iraq, a few weeks shy of his 24th birthday, he said. But the circumstances around his death and the act of heroism they said military officials described provided solace.

"Knowing that he made a choice, that was so strong of him," said Carol Cann, Adam's stepmother. "So much honor."

Leigh Cann said his son was working security at a police recruiting station where 1,000 Iraqis showed up to join. Early that morning, a suicide bomber with a vest full of explosives walked into the crowd and detonated his deadly payload.

He said military officials told relatives that Adam Cann shielded two fellow Marines and his bomb-sniffing dog, Bruno, saving all three.

Adam Cann didn't look the part of a hero. Standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing only about 150 pounds, he was always smaller than his friends at Plantation High School. But he was fearless and never backed down.

Cann joined the Marines immediately after graduating high school and worked his way up to sergeant with the military police, working with Bruno, a German shepherd.

He volunteered for tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and asked to be in the most dangerous areas, Leigh Cann said.

He even planned to volunteer for a third tour in Iraq when his current mission ended in April.

Maj. Paul Swiergosz, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, said Saturday he could not confirm or deny Cann's death or the circumstances of Thursday's attack. As of Friday, 2,189 U.S. military men and women have died in Iraq since the start of the war, according to the Department of Defense.

Leigh Cann said his son will have a hero's burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

"I think it's the most beautiful place in the world," he said. "I'm real proud of that."
A funeral at Arlington National Cemetery will be held next week for a U.S. Marine from Davie killed while serving in Iraq.

Sergeant Adam Cann will be buried Wednesday. The memorial service will start at 11 a.m. at the Arlington Funeral Home. The burial is scheduled for 1 p.m.

A viewing will be held from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. the day before at the funeral home.

Cann was killed January 5, 2006, by a suicide bomber in Ramadi.

Cann grew up in Broward and graduated from South Plantation High School in 2000. He then joined the Marine Corps.

Cann served one tour of duty in Afghanistan and was on his second Iraqi tour when he was killed.

Cann is survived by his father, Leigh Cann of Davie, mother Betsy Beebee of Destin and two brothers -- Justin, a Marine stationed in Miramar, Calif., and Leigh Cann Jr. of Destin.

He also had five step-siblings: Emily Taylor, Jason Taylor, Natasha Beebee, Heather Beebee and Jason Burnside.

During the explosion in Ramadi, Iraq, that killed him on January 5, 2006, Sergeant Adam Cann, 23, pushed two fellow Marines to safety, his father Leigh said military officials told him. Adam Cann was assigned to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), Camp Pendleton, California.
"Adam would always stand up for any of his friends," Leigh Cann said. "He always put other people first."

Still in shock over his son's death, Leigh Cann switched between present and past tense when referring to his son.

"He's a handsome kid, he really is," he said. "He had the personality to charm anyone. Everybody loved him."

Adam Cann enlisted in the Marines right after graduating from South Plantation High School in 2000, his father said.

This was his third stint overseas. He was scheduled to come home in March.

The last time Leigh Cann heard from his son was in an e-mail received two days before he died.

"He said he won a bet with his friend that the (Miami) Dolphins would beat the (New England) Patriots," Leigh Cann said. "He said he couldn't wait until next season. He couldn't wait to tailgate."

Also eager to see Cann on his return was Michele Palmer, his girlfriend. The last time Palmer talked to Cann she was about to buy a new car. Cann called her from Iraq and convinced her to buy a Chevy.

"I was looking forward to him coming home and seeing it," Palmer, 26, of Hollywood said.

Palmer said she spoke with Cann everyday by e-mail, the couple had been talking about rekindling their relationship.
"When you meet that special one and you know that's who you will be with in the end, you feel it. We both felt it," Palmer said. "'I love you too', those are the last words he said to me."

Adam Cann will be buried Jan. 18 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.

In addition to his father, Cann is survived by his mother Betsy Beebee, of Destin, and his brothers Justin, 25, a Marine stationed in Miramar, Calif., and Leigh Cann Jr., 20, of Destin.
Posted: 14 January 2006 Updated: 15 January 2006 Updated: 19 January 2006 Updated: 11 February 2006
Updated: 4 March 2006 Updated: 22 April 2006

Last edited by cmyr; 12-25-2008 at 01:43 PM.
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