HM2 Charles Luke Milam
(reprinted from RockyMountainNews.com, September 27, 2007)
Colorado corpsman killed in Afghanistan
Columbine grad following dream, his brother says
By Tillie Fong, Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Charles Luke Milam was following a family tradition when he joined the Navy in 1999.
“I was in the Navy and so was his grandfather,” said his brother, Keith Milam, of Nashville, Tenn.
The 26-year-old petty officer, of Littleton, was killed Tuesday during combat in the Helmand province in Afghanistan.
He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Keith Milam said this was his brother’s fourth deployment overseas, having served three tours in Iraq in the past six years.
He was sent to Afghanistan a few months ago.
Born in Albuquerque, Milam moved with his family to Colorado in 1992.
He graduated from Columbine High School in 1999 – the year two fellow students attacked the school, killing 12 students and a teacher – and joined the Navy on June 14 that year.
“He was following his dream, doing what he wanted to do,” said Keith Milam.
In May 2005, Charles Milam was assigned to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. It was not clear Wednesday when he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion.
Keith Milam said his brother had planned to make the Navy his career.
“He loved the guys he worked with and he loved his family,” he said.
Keith Milam said he last talked to his brother about a month ago.
“We talked on the phone as often as we could,” he said.
Even though his parents moved to Washington in 2001, Milam still considered Colorado home, his brother said.
One of his favorite pastimes was riding his mountain bike, Keith Milam said.
Charles Milam was awarded the Purple Heart, two Combat Action ribbons, two Good Conduct medals, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and two Sea Service Deployment ribbons.
In addition to his brother, Milam is survived by his parents, Michael and Rita Milam, of Lake Forest Park, Wash; a sister, Jaeme Milam, and another brother, Andrew Milam, both of Denver.
Services are pending, but the family is arranging to have Milam buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.