Died September 16, 2009
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
SSG Joshua Mills died September 16, 2009 in Ghur Ghuri, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle the previous day, September 15, with an improvised explosive device (IED). Also killed in the attack were SFC Bradley S. Bohie and SFC Shawn P. McCloskey. SSG Mills was 2 months into his combat deployment.
When Joshua was a young boy, he aspired to have two careers: A paleontologist (he loved dinosaurs), but more importantly, a Soldier. Joshua graduated from the Silva Magnet High School in El Paso, where he was a member of the Junior ROTC and was on the rifle team. Family was important to him, and despite training and deployment, he almost always made it home for Christmas. “He would always try to surprise you,” his brother, Quent, recalled, “He’d come into town, but he wouldn’t tell you. He would just show up on your doorstep.” The family managed to turn the tables on him when they all went to Fort Bragg to celebrate the 4th of July. Even his brother, Travis, who was on active duty with the Air Force and wasn’t anticipated, managed to make the trip. “That was the last time our whole family was together,” Quent concluded.
SSG Mills had followed in the footsteps of his father, retired Air Defense Artillery CWO3 Tommy Mills, who was a Soldier at Fort Bliss, and joined the Army in 2005 as a Special Forces candidate. He successfully completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in March of that year. SSG Mills was a Communications Sergeant with his battalion and also successfully completed the Basic Airborne Course and the Special Forces Sniper Course. He went on to proudly wear a Green Beret. He deployed to Afghanistan on July 15, 2009. SSG Mills is survived by his mother, Celeste; wife, Magen; son, Malaki; and brothers, Quent, Travis, and Kevin.
SSG Mills loved the Special Forces and believed in it’s mission. “He didn’t talk about it much,” Quent said, “They’re not supposed to.” As a way of explaining his job to his brother, he translated the unit’s motto, “De oppresso liber,” SSG Mills explained, “It means ‘Free the oppressed’.”
SSG Joshua Mills was 24 years old from El Paso, Texas.
Original portrait was presented May 19, 2012, to his family at a special event hosted by America Supports You- Texas in Amarillo, Texas.DONATE in memory of