Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Eugene C Mills III

Laurel, Maryland

June 22, 2012

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
21 Marine L/Cpl

1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

 Killed while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.


On June 22, 2012, Lance Corporal Eugene C. Mills, III (USMC) was assigned 1st Battalion 8th Marines Bravo Company 2nd Marines Division was killed in action by enemy small fire while conducting combat operations in Sagin Valley, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. LCpl Mills loved his Country as much as he loved his family and his life dream was to protect them both as a United States Marine at any cost. --
Family and Friends are invited to gather at Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home at Meadowridge Memorial Park, Inc. 7250 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD 21075 (exit 6 S off Rt. 100) on Monday, July 2, 2012, 12 to 9 p.m. A Life Celebration will be held at Grace Community Church, 8200 Old Columbia Road, Fulton, MD on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 11 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. The family requests In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in LCpl Mills, III name to Wounded Warrior Project, 1120 G Street, Suite #700, Washington, DC 20005, www.woundedwarriorproject.org or the Fisher House Foundation, Inc. 111 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20850-5168, www.fisherhouse.org.

Published in The Washington Post on July 1, 2012
From The Baltimore Sun baltimoresun.com 07/02/12:

Funeral services for Laurel Marine scheduled for July 3
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com
July 2, 2012 | 6:03 p.m.

Funeral services for Lance Cpl. Eugene C. Mills III are scheduled for Tuesday, July 3 at 11 a.m. at Grace Community Church, 8200 Old Columbia Pike, in Fulton. The 21-year-old Laurel resident was killed in Afghanistan June 22.

Mills, known as "Little Gene," died after being shot in the chest during a firefight in Afghanistan's Helmond Province, his father, Eugene Mills II, said. Mills said his son was scheduled to return home in August.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made in Mills' honor to the Wounded Warrior Project.

After the funeral service, Mills' body will be returned to Gary Kaufman Funeral Home in Elkridge until burial at Arlington National Cemetery on July 11. A luncheon at the church will follow the funeral ceremony.

From The Baltimore Sun baltimoresun.com 07/07/12:

Reality of war hits home with Marine's death
By Chris Folks, CBFolksWL@aol.com 301-490-0797
July 7, 2012 | 10:26 a.m.

The reality of the war in Afghanistan hit home this past week when we learned of West Laurel's Marine Lance Corp. Eugene "Gene" Mills III was killed in combat on June 22. Shock and disbelief resonated throughout the community as the news traveled fast. Young 21-year-old Gene was supposed to come home soon and have Chesapeake Bay blue crabs with his family. His second tour of duty in Afghanistan was almost over. "Just one more mission," he had told his father.

There was a mix-up in communication as to the whereabouts of "Big" Gene. The military representative went to Bowie instead of Laurel. When he finally reached Gene by phone, he told him to wait there at his house on Maple Terrace. Young Gene's father waited 45 excruciating minutes for the worst and most devastating news of his life.

There have been many more "excruciatingly painful" moments for this young soldier's family, which includes his father, retired Prince George's County police officer Gene Mills and his wife, Melissa Mills; young Gene's mother, Theresa Mills; and his little brother, Jake. We can't even imagine their private moments of grief and anguish nor would we want to. It's all real: the war, the grief and the nightmare.
Gene was an energetic, wide-eyed little boy with a sweet smile. He grew up with his little brother Jake just three doors down from our house. He was a typical little boy full of vim and vigor. He went to the West Laurel Swim Club in the summer and rode his bike everywhere. He made forever friends at Bond Mill Elementary. He was a handsome, respectful young man.

As he grew up, I saw him less because that's what teenagers do, they leave their nice safe yards where they played so freely, and spread their wings. His dad, Gene, kept us abreast of his son's most recent adventures and was very proud of both his sons.

Gene went for his dream to be a soldier and protect a country he loved. He wanted to make a difference. He did. Gene made a difference from the moment he was born in 1990. He will continue to make a difference in the hearts of his family, friends and neighbors. He will always be with us. Semper Fi.

As we celebrate Independence Day this week, perhaps we can take a moment to remember those who have given everything they could give. We can stop for a moment and appreciate a country that still has a lot of work to do but where we can all stand up freely and proudly and sing the "Star Spangled Banner."

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