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I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos, provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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PFC Errol D. A. Milliard

Since 2001 we have lost 2249 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3347 American and coalition forces.
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The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pvt. Errol D.A. Milliard, 18, of Birmingham, Ala., died July 4 in Farah province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade while on dismounted patrol.  He was assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, White Sands Missile Range, N.M.  ~ DoD News Release

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Taps - by the US Army Ceremonial Band
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Day is done...Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...Safely rest
God is nigh.
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Pvt Errol D. A,. Milliard, 18 of Birmingham, AL.  Killed in Action in Afghanistan 7/4/2013
PFC Errol D. A. Milliard, 18 of Birmingham, Alabama
Errol "Elijah" Duran Aster Milliard was a 2012 graduate of George Washington Carver High School.  Following graduation, Elijah enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. for basic training.  Upon graduation he and 18 other peers arrived at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico and were deployed to Afghanistan in February 2013.

A high school friend remembers:

We always knew he would join the military.  He was a very uplifting guy.  When people were sad, he wouldn't want you to be sad, he'd always tell a joke or something.  You know, a little humor to make you laugh.
Other friends agree that he was a dedicated soldier who wanted to make his family proud.

Brandon Murry met Milliard during training at Fort Leonard Wood:

I know that he was saved, I know that he's going to be in heaven and I know that we will get to see him again which is amazing.  

For me it was just an honor to get to know him.  Milliard was one of those individuals that wore a perpetual smile.  You couldn't make the guy frown ever and any time people were feeling down or we had a little break in training or if things just weren't going our way, you could leave it up to him to do something goofy to get everybody laughing.

Ashia Young, Elijah's fiance posted on facebook:
To all who fret, may this be a light...from the day Elijah was born...his future has been spoken.

Errol:  army man; a noble man who wields power
Duran: (Greek) star; (English) flower
Millard: guardian, guardian of the mill
Elija: (Hebrew) 'my god is Lord'

So let this be a time where we detour from the pain of his absence and rejoice in the accomplishment of his homegoing.

                             ~ Love is Never Lost

The following statement was released by White Sands Missile Range Commander Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham:
We are deeply saddened and hurt by the loss of Pfc. Milliard.  Without a doubt, we owe him and all of our brave men and women a deep debt of gratitude for their outstanding commitment, dedication and selfless service.  Each and every day, they risk their lives in the fulfillment of their missions. I want Pfc. Milliard's Family to know that our comrade, Errol, made a positive difference daily; that we value his service and ultimate sacrifice and that we will never forget him or his Family.  Indeed, it is a very sad day for all of us here at TEAM WSMR.  I ask that you keep Pfc. Milliard's Family and all of our 2nd Engineer leaders, Soldiers, and Families in your continued thoughts and prayers.
PFC Errol D. A. Milliard was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Good Conduct Medal, as well as promoted from PV2 to Private First Class.  His other awards and decorations include Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, NATO Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

PFC Errol "Elijah" Millard is survived by his grandmother.  No funeral arrangements have been announced.

Dignified Transfer of PFC Errol D.A. Milliard, 18, Birmingham, AL
~ Source  ~ Source ~ Source  

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About the IGTNT series:

"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, i dunno,noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Ekaterin, TheFatLadySings, Joy of Fishes, and me, JaxDem.

These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.

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POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Sgt Bowe R. Bergdahl
The only known current Prisoner of War is Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 26 who was captured by the Taliban in June of 2009.  Five propaganda videos featuring Bergdahl have been released by the Taliban. A website has been established with the most up-to-date information on Sgt. Bergdahl.

Latest news report from June 20, 2013 Afghan Taliban offers to swap captive U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl for 5 Guantanamo detainees.
 

Please keep good thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl.

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Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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