Local Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

NEW CASTLE (KDKA) – A local soldier from Lawrence County was one of six killed in Afghanistan on Thursday.

According to the Department of Defense, Staff Sgt. Edward Mills, 29, of New Castle, died from wounds he suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. It happened in the Kandahar Province in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Mills was killed along with 27-year-old 1st Lt. John M. Runkle of West Salem, Ohio; 35-year-old Staff Sgt. Ergin V. Osman of Jacksonville, N.C.; 25-year-old Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall of Bel Aire, Kan.; 21-year-old Spc. Adam J. Patton of Port Orchard, Wash.; and 39-year-old Sgt. Louie A. Ramos Velazquez of Camuy, Puerto Rico.

Two men in uniform showed up at Mills’ family home in Union Township around 2:30 a.m. Friday morning with the news.

“They didn’t have to say anything. You knew; you knew it was just the worst-case scenario. The image you never wanted to see was here,” said Jarod Mills, Staff Sgt. Mills’ brother.

Jarod Mills describes his brother as a born leader who was always humble and always put others before himself.

“Anytime you talked to him, he was always talking about his guys, those were his guys. He had to watch over his guys,” said Mills. “As hard as it is for us and the family, if he had to go, this is the way he wanted to go, over in combat with his guys.”

Mills graduated from Union High School in 2000.

The last time the family was together was in February, just before he shipped out for his third tour of duty. Mills, an avid Steelers fan, was wearing the same uniform he wore when they won the Super Bowl in 2005 and 2008. He thought it would bring good luck.

“He actually joked and said he apologized to the Steelers and said maybe if he was over there, they would have won, but because he was home, they didn’t win,” Mills added.

As a lasting treasure and Christmas gift to their parents, Mills, his brothers and sister took a family portrait.

“I’m so glad we did that now, knowing that was the last Christmas and the last opportunity we had to do that,” he said.

As the family prepares for the funeral, they are thanking the community for the outpouring of love, support and prayers to help them cope with a terrible loss.

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One Comment

  1. Kim says:

    My prayers are with these young men and their families.

  2. Bwark says:

    God Bless them. Thank you, courageous soldiers, for giving me this incredible freedom that so many people in the world have never experienced. I can never repay your for your sacrifice but, always know that I am so grateful for you and your courage. Also a vet, I never had to serve in a war zone but, I will always memorialize you and hold you in the highest of regard. You are heroes always!

  3. Jay says:

    I understand your sentiment, but for at least this one day (Memorial Day) please try to remember the tremendous sacrifice others have made. It doesn’t really help to always be going on and on about why we are fighting this war or that war.

  4. The Alan family says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families.I would like to say Thank you for these young men who died fighting for this country.Because of their bravory we are FREE. Very Proud to be an American.May God Bless each of you and your families.

  5. 2059 says:

    May the Lord wrap his arms tightly around you and take you into His kingdom. Thank you and ALL Veterans for their service to America!!!

  6. Lee Ann says:

    God Bless all of the Soldiers. My prayers to the families.

  7. expittsburgh says:

    Thanks to this brave soldier, and condolences to his family. His sacrifice is what helps this country be what it is. We can never thank him enough.

  8. Hank says:

    God Bless all of the Soldiers, praying for them and their families always. I am very thankful and grateful for their service. Those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, we shall never forget. Praying for the Mills family, may God comfort you in your time of sorrow.

  9. trudy says:

    The Adams family wishes to send you are prayers in a time likes this.

  10. Honeylmalik says:

    Our prayers go out to all our military families for the service men & women who have die to protect our country. We salute all those who have fallen but not forgotten fo all the years to come. We’re all proud of all them! May God be with the family & let God comfort y-all your loss. God Bless America!

  11. kristy says:

    it’s about time that people quit idolizing athletes, celebrities, and reality show “stars,” as these brave men and women are the REAL DEAL. wouldn’t it be refreshing if as many people attended the veteran’s day and memorial day parades as the steelers and penguins parades? just a thought . . .

  12. Donna apicella says:

    The Apicella family sends prayers of comfort to your family in this time of need. Your son won’t be forgotten, nor the other familys of our fallen soliders.

  13. Lorrie Maierhofer says:

    May God bless you and your family.

  14. Terry says:

    It’s because of individuals like him that we are able to sit behind our computers and enjoy the Freedoms we enjoy, I am sure we all thank him for that. This life it tough sometimes, but please remember, it’s not the end, We will most def. be together in the eternities, I absolutely know that for a surety.

  15. Nancy L. Stafford says:

    My heart and prays go out to the Mills family.May God give them strength to get threw this trying time..

Comments are closed.

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