Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gregory N. Millard dies of 'wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'

SAN DIEGO -- A local soldier died in the line of duty in Iraq this past weekend, the Department of Defense announced.

Millard's parents, who reside in Ramona, told NBC 7/39 that their son was a passenger in a Humvee.

NBC 7/39 spoke with Millard's fiancee and brother on Tuesday. They said Millard was born in Kearny Mesa and joined the Army shortly after graduating from La Jolla High School. He served as an assistant machine gunner, a paratrooper and a Humvee driver.

Millard had just celebrated his birthday and was engaged to be married.

But his parents said Millard had "a calling," to make the world a better and safer place.

Fiancee Lacey Martin said, "He wanted to defend his country. He wanted to better himself. He wanted to grow, to fight for his country."

Millard's family raised flags in his honor in front of their home. His father, Kevin, said they were a symbol of his family's love for their son and brother.

His brother Jason said, "My brother was one that he'd give anything to help anyone. He thought about himself last."

Millard's body is at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. His family said a memorial service and burial are planned for next week at Fort Rosecrans.

From NBC 7