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WARWICK â€” Holly Charrette was weeks away from her 19th birthday on September 11, 2001. Like many, her life was changed forever by the dayâ€™s events.
Bringing to a halt her plans to study child psychology in college, Charette stepped up to serve her country.
Ed Roberts, Hollyâ€™s father, explained that after signing up for the Marines, she graduated from boot camp and remained at Camp Lejuene in North Carolina until she was deployed â€” to Iraq.
Three-and-a-half years after the terrorist attacks, she was stationed at Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force and worked at the post office.
â€śOver there women could only search other women and children for weapons; Holly had to do a four-week rotation,â€ť Roberts said.
On June 23, 2005, during the third week of her rotation, she was outside the safe zone searching a group. After an 18-hour shift she began her journey back to the base.
She never got there. The truck she was riding in was struck by a suicide bomber.
In the truck were four female Marines; Lance Corporal Charette was one of two killed.
The 22-year old was the first female Marine from Rhode Island to lose her life during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
â€śHolly was a girl who always helped everybody and always tried to put a smile on peopleâ€™s faces,â€ť remembered Roberts.
To commemorate Holly, her family began a motorcycle run on Sept. 27, her birthday, in 2009.
The annual run will be held this year on Sunday, Sept. 30. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and bikes leave the Rolfe Square Post Office, 57 Rolfe Square, Cranston, at 10 a.m.
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