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Army Staff Sgt. Edward D. Mills

Died May 26, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

29, of New Castle, Pa., assigned to the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died May 26 of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Spin Boldak, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Also killed were 1st Lt. John M. Runkle, Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall, Spc. Adam J. Patton, Sgt. Louie A. Ramos Velazquez and Staff Sgt. Ergin V. Osman.
Western Pa. soldier among 6 killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Military authorities say a western Pennsylvania man was one of six soldiers killed in an attack in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense says 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Edward Mills Jr. of New Castle and the others died Thursday of wounds following an attack in Kandahar province.

Mills was a member of the Army's 101st Airborne Ranger Pathfinders on his third tour of duty in the Middle East.

Family members told the New Castle News that the 2000 graduate of Union High School had been in Afghanistan since Feb. 11.

"He was in a highly-trained, specialized unit," said his uncle, Francis "Poncho" Exposito. "He liked it and talked about making a career for himself in the military."

Exposito said the family was notified early Friday. He said he did not have details of the attack that killed Mills.

"It's been tough," he told the paper for a story Saturday. "We're a close family. This is the last thing you expect to hear — especially on Memorial Day weekend."

Also killed were 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, military authorities said.

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