A young Marine from Lake Stevens died Sunday, about a week after arriving at his new post in eastern Africa and less than six months after...
A young Marine from Lake Stevens died Sunday, about a week after arriving at his new post in eastern Africa and less than six months after marrying his high-school sweetheart.
Lance Cpl. Dustin Canham, 21, died on Easter Sunday in Djibouti, his first overseas deployment.
The Defense Department is investigating the death, attributing it to “a nonhostile incident.” Additional details were not officially released.
Lance Cpl. Canham was a 2004 graduate of Lake Stevens High School and the younger brother of former Oregon State University catcher Mitch Canham, who was drafted in the first round by the San Diego Padres last year.
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“He’s unlike anyone that you’ve ever met,” said his wife, 19-year-old Devyn Canham. “He always wanted to do the right thing.”
Lance Cpl. Canham, who was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group in Portland, knew he wanted to join the Marines while he was in high school and signed up right after he graduated, she said. About the same time, his mother, Kimi Kendall, died from a drug overdose.
He was “very disciplined and honest and loyal as a person, so he sort of fit right in with the honor code,” Devyn Canham said.
Lance Cpl. Canham was passionate about all things American, from apple pie to serving his country, she said.
“He was genuinely patriotic. He didn’t join the military to be a hero,” she said. “I felt like he was so extraordinary, and he never thought that. He thought he was just doing his duty.”
He is the third person from Lake Stevens High School to be killed in military service since 2004, said Lake Stevens High Principal Ken Collins.
In high school, Lance Cpl. Canham was involved in academic quiz team HiQ, often read fantasy books and was an excellent graphic artist, Collins said. Even though he wasn’t athletic, he would support the school’s football team — and his older brother — by designing school-spirit T-shirts each week.
In addition to his wife and brother Mitch, Lance Cpl. Canham is survived by his father, Mark Canham, of Lake Stevens, and another brother, John Kendall.
A memorial service for is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Elim Lutheran Church in Lake Stevens.
Christina Siderius: 425-745-7813 or firstname.lastname@example.org