Sgt. David M. Caruso
25, of Naperville, Ill.; assigned to 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed Nov. 9 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.
Illinois Marine killed in Iraq this week
By Jan Dennis
Sgt. David Caruso had called home to Naperville every week since joining the Marines five years ago, but he told his parents last week they wouldn’t hear from him for a while because his unit in Iraq was "going to do some stuff."
"He told me not to worry about him. I told him that’s like telling me not to breathe," his mother, Gloria Caruso, said Friday.
The 25-year-old was killed in a firefight Tuesday as U.S. troops fought to capture the city of Fallujah from Islamic insurgents, his parents and military officials said.
Caruso was one of six Marines from Illinois, all assigned to different units, to die this week in Iraq. Five were part of the U.S. offensive launched on Fallujah. As of Friday morning, 22 U.S. troops had died in that offensive, military officials said. They called the high number of Illinois casualties a coincidence.
"Usually with something like that there’s really no connection," said Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel, a spokesman for the Defense Department.
Caruso, a 1998 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, had his sights set on the Marines since he was in eighth grade, his mother said.
"He said ‘We live in a great country, Mom, and I think everyone should give something back,"’ Gloria Caruso said.
He had always been a high achiever, setting goals and generally exceeding them, his parents said. He worked in reconnaissance for Marine special operations, and also passed the Army’s Ranger school.
At 16, Caruso became an Eagle Scout, then spent the next two years earning the three Palms that are the only remaining honors for Eagle scouts.
"We never had to push him. We usually had to try to hold him back," his mother said.
Joseph Caruso said he first noticed his son’s drive when he was three or four years old and he was giving him a ride on the back of a bicycle.
"He said he wanted to get out and run. I figured he’d run a little bit then get back on. He ran at least a half a mile. He just always strived to do more," Joseph Caruso said.
Friendly but a little on the shy side, Caruso was an honor student and played football in high school. Since joining the Marines, he had taken up photography, filling photo albums with shots taken during leaves in China, Vietnam and other stops.
"Looking back now, it’s almost like he knew he had to try to do a lot in a short amount of time," his mother said.
Caruso had been in Iraq since August, and was assigned to the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
WHEREAS, Sgt. David M. Caruso, while serving our country in the United States Marine Corps in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, lost his life on November 9, 2004, during combat operations in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, Sgt. Caruso is deserving of the respect and gratitude of his Country and whose courageous actions should be acknowledged and remembered; and
WHEREAS, Sgt. Caruso was lifelong DuPage County resident of the Longwood Subdivision in Naperville Township; and
WHEREAS, the County has been contacted by the Longwood Homeowner’s Association with a request that a County-owned parcel in the Longwood Subdivision be designated as a memorial park for the remembrance of Sgt. Caruso; and
WHEREAS, the County of DuPage ("County") under authority granted by the Illinois General Assembly (55 ILCS 5/5-1062 and 5/5-15001, et seq.) is authorized to acquire property and hold title thereto for the purpose of providing flood control and stormwater management; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the above grant of authority the County developed, adopted and implemented a Countywide Stormwater Management Plan ("Countywide Plan") and a watershed plan for the Ferry Creek Watershed, ("Ferry Creek Plan"); and
WHEREAS, the Ferry Creek plan recommended, as part of a project to provide improved flood control in and about the Longwood Subdivision, the purchase of certain flood-prone properties; and
WHEREAS, the County acquired the property located at 5 S 312 Glenoban Drive, PPN 07-09-208-022 ("Subject Parcel") in 2001 as part of the County’s implementation of the Ferry Creek Plan; and
WHEREAS, the County requires that properties acquired in the manner of 5 S 312 Glenoban Drive be used and maintained in accord with the Countywide Flood Hazard Mitigation Program; and
WHEREAS the Countywide Flood Hazard Mitigation Program provides that properties acquired pursuant to it shall be committed to long-term uses that minimize potential impacts as flood hazards and that any development thereon not be subject to reoccurring flood-related damages; and
WHEREAS, the proposed use of the Subject Parcel is consistent with the County’s practice of keeping said properties as open spaces and "park-like," permitting only passive recreational and leisure activities and, occasionally, allowing development consisting of flood-proofed structures that do not impact floodways and otherwise improve flood plain detention on-site; and
WHEREAS, the County is additionally authorized by 55 ILCS 5/5-1049 to hold public grounds as parks and may supervise and regulate their use for any proper public purpose; and
WHEREAS, the use proposed by the Longwood Homeowner’s Association would not create any flood hazards and would be at minimal risk of suffering reoccurring flood-related damages and, accordingly, the above proposed use is wholly consistent with the Countywide Flood Hazard Mitigation Program; and
WHEREAS, the County and the Longwood Homeowner’s Association and, or, the Naperville Township Highway Commission, shall, by a separate agreement, arrange for and allocate amongst themselves responsibilities for long-term maintenance and care of the Subject Parcel and any improvements thereto; and
WHEREAS, the County, by and through the Stormwater Management Committee and the DuPage County Board, have deemed the designation of the Subject Parcel as a memorial park, a befitting way to honor the life and patriotism of Sgt. David M. Caruso; and
WHEREAS, the Longwood Homeowner’s Association and, or, in conjunction with the Naperville Township Highway Commission, shall plant a memorial tree and other specified landscaping, which will all be subject to review and approval by the County’s Stormwater Division, on the Subject Parcel; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the DuPage County Board hereby designates the Subject Parcel, 5 S 312 Glenoban Drive, as the David M. Caruso Memorial Park.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County, by and through the Stormwater Management Committee and the DuPage County Board, acknowledges and honors Sgt. Caruso’s heroic achievement in which he gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the lives of his team in connection with combat operations against insurgent forces.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County Clerk be directed to send certified copies of this Resolution to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Caruso, [address on file]; Anthony Hayman, State’s Attorney’s Office; Karen Wilson, 7900 Route 53, Woodridge, IL 60517; County Auditor; Finance Director; Treasurer; and three (3) copies to the Department of Engineering, Stormwater Management Division.
Enacted and approved this______day of ____________________, 2005 at Wheaton, Illinois. BY:____________________________________ ROBERT J. SCHILLERSTROM, CHAIRMAN DUPAGE COUNTY BOARD Attest: BY:____________________________________ GARY A. KING, COUNTY CLERK