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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Sgt. Joseph M. Lilly

Died June 14, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


Army Sgt. Joseph M. Lilly, 25, of Flint, Mich., died June 14 in Panjway, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Also killed was Army Spc. Trevor Pinnick.


Aunt says fallen Michigan soldier loved Army

The Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — A combat engineer from Flint who died two days after being wounded in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan believed so strongly in the Army’s mission that he volunteered to serve his latest tour there, his aunt said June 18.

“This is what he loved. He loved being a U.S. Army soldier,” Martha Alexander said of her nephew, Sgt. Joseph Lilly.

The 25-year-old was injured June 12 by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province and died two days later, the Pentagon said. Another member of his unit from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Spc. Trevor Pinnick, 20, of Lawrenceville, Ill., also was killed.

Alexander — the sister of Lilly’s mother, who died 13 years ago — recalled a recent conversation the two shared via Skype. In it, Lilly told his aunt, “I’m going to sound weird, but I enjoy it.”

Alexander responded: “Not everybody gets to do what they wanted to do. You’re very lucky.”

Lilly was hit by a sniper’s bullet only weeks before his death, resulting in a wound on his chin that required a few stitches, Alexander said. “He was just upset that he was sidelined,” she said.

Lilly was a 2005 Carman-Ainsworth High School graduate, where he was active in stage crew. As a soldier, he also served in Iraq and in South Korea. He is survived by wife Katrina and their son Alexander, 3.

Michael Lilly, 55, said he was proud of his son’s choice to fight for his country and said his son’s ideals have much to teach.

“Joe knew what the consequence was,” the elder Lilly told Mlive.com. “It was worth it to him because he believed in what he was doing. He was trying to keep us free out of the clutches of terrorism. He accepted the risk. That right there is someone who has a lot of guts.”

Joseph Lilly’s body was flown to Dover Air Force Base, Del., over the weekend. A funeral is planned at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly Township, but a date hasn’t been set, his father said.

Lilly was assigned to the 18th Engineer Company, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Lewis-McChord.

 



Mich. to lower flags in soldier’s memory

The Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered the lowering of U.S. flags in Michigan on June 26 in honor of Army Sgt. Joseph M. Lilly, who died after being wounded in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan.

The 25-year-old combat engineer from Flint was injured June 12 by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province and died two days later, the Defense Department said.

Snyder said in a statement that Lilly “was a brave and courageous young man.”

Lilly was a 2005 Carman-Ainsworth High School graduate. He also served in Iraq. He is survived by wife, Katrina, and their son Alexander, 3.

Also killed was Spc. Trevor Pinnick, 20, of Lawrenceville, Ill.

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