Sunday, 07 Aug 2011, 7:12 PM CDT
Family and friends of Chief Petty Officer Matt Mills, 36, are mourning his death in Bastrop. Mills was killed when insurgents shot a rocket at a helicopter he and 30 other U.S. troops were being transported in Friday in Afghanistan. Twenty-two of the troops on board were Navy Seals.
Mills’ sister Ashley told KXAN enlisting in the military is a family tradition and her brother was proud to serve. His grandfather was a Marine and his uncle a Vietnam veteran.
“I loved what he did,” said Ashley Mills, who last heard from her brother via phone last week. “He told me he couldn’t believe he was able to do what he was doing for a living because he loved in so much.”
Mills enlisted in the Navy 15 years ago. For the last decade, he served as Navy Seal.
Before leaving on this recent deployment, he told his family would be his last and looked forward to moving back to Texas to start a business with his younger brother.
Mills was deployed more than 10 times but never spoke of his secret missions.
“I just had a feeling that if anything ever did happen to him it would be enroute to something or coming back,” said Matt’s cousin J.B. Abbot.
Matt grew up in Arlington, Texas , and moved with his family to Bastrop after he graduated high school.
He was a member of the unit known as Seal Team Six–the same unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden. Mills, however, was not on the Bin Laden mission nor were any of the other Seals on board the helicopter.
“He wasn’t boastful at all,” said Michael Mills, Matt’s younger brother. “He didn’t try and brag about any of the stuff that he had done.”
Michael told KXAN his brother never complained about being deployed more than 13 times, that he knew his job and wanted to be the best.
“He wanted to excel at everything,” Michael explained.
Matt married his second wife on April 29, 2011. The couple had a one-year-old son and Mills had two children from a previous marriage.
His wife currently resides in Virginia and his other two children live in Oklahoma.
The Mills family said his wife is ‘devastated.’
“He had a lot of love in his heart and he was proud of his country,” Ashley said.
Next to being a standout soldier, his family says Matt was the best father.
“He was a great father, never stopped loving his children. He tried to spend as much time as he could with them,” Abbot added.
The Mills family plans to fly to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Monday morning.
Matt’s remains should arrive there by Thursday.
The family does not have many details about his funeral, only that Matt will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
4122 49331 29
his path of destiny = 29 = Skilled. Talented. Teamwork. Part of the team.
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