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Life & Events > Relationships > Today Has Been Filled with Sad News

Today Has Been Filled with Sad News

It seems today has been filled with nothing but sad news.  As I was reading in the paper about a young man who just lost all his limbs while serving his third tour in Afghanistan, I received a call from Kenna telling me that one of my cousins to whom I was especially close had been found dead in his apartment.

Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, part of the 82nd Airborne Division, was wounded April 10 when he stepped on a land mine while on foot patrol outside Kandahar.
The explosion ripped off his limbs and left him as one of an extremely rare group:  only three other quadruple amputees have survived their injuries in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
His wife Kelsey, staying with her parents in Frisco while her husband was deployed,  was preparing a bottle for their six-month-old daughter, Chloe, when the phone rang.  Thinking it was her husband, who called or e-mailed her every day, she answered.  Instead it was an officer from her husband's base in Fort Bragg, N.C. delivering the somber news that there had been an accident.
 At Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Mills, who turned 25 last Saturday and has been a soldier since 2005, was alert and joking with the nurses.
Tuesday, he was flown to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Md.  At his side was his brother-in-law, Staff Sgt. Joshua Buck, with whom Mills has served three terms in Afghanistan.
Both part of the 82nd Airborne Division, the two are fast friends, and Buck introduced Mills to his sister,to whom he is now married.
When Buck heard of the accident, he slammed his fist into the wall of his barracks so hard that he broke his hand.  The military granted him special permission to be with his best friend and brother-in-law in Germany as well as permission to fly to the U.S. with him.
Tuesday,  his wife, daughter, and her mother left Texas to fly to Washington D.C. to be with Mills as did his parents in Michigan.
No sooner had I finished this than Kenna called me with the news of my cousin.  It would have been shocking enough; however, she told me that his twin brother, to whom she had just spoken, had relayed to her that he had committed suicide. 
That just came completely out of left field because absolutely no one, including his brother nor his kids had any idea that he was having any kind of problem. 
He was a former all-state football player and a starter for OSU with a good chance of going pro until he blew out both his knees.
A really handsome guy who stood over 6 ft., he always lived a very upper middle class life.  Though he and his wife divorced a couple of years ago, he told me personally that he had left her and should have done it long before he did.  I truly don't think the divorce had anything to do with this.

When he and his brother were babies, I used to stay with his mother in the summer to help her with them.  I was only ten, but I would feed one and rock him to sleep while she fed the other.  I was always close to my aunt and to them.
This hits me hard; I am still trying to process it.

posted on Apr 18, 2012 12:19 PM ()


I have a youger cousin who committed suicide as well. It's hard. You are in my thoughts.
comment by kristilyn3 on Apr 19, 2012 12:37 PM ()
Thank you Kristy. Yes, it is hard. His mother and mine, who are sisters, are both in the nursing home and they share a room. My aunt could not have children; she finally had one of her ovaries removed, which was diseased; then she was put on fertility drugs over fifty years ago when they were first on the market. She finally got pregnant and had the two identical boys, my cousin. She was never able to conceive again, and she was by then scared if she took the fertility drugs she might have another multiple birth. These two brothers have always been so close as twins are. They had a serious falling out over the surviving twin remarrying a year and a half after he suddenly lost his wife to a woman 25 years younger than he was. So far as I know they were still not speaking. This is going to make it doubly hard for him.
reply by redimpala on Apr 19, 2012 5:15 PM ()
Suicide is especially horrible because you always wonder that if you had
somehow known the mental state the person was in you might have been able
to help. So sorry that you and your family lost him.
comment by elderjane on Apr 19, 2012 5:51 AM ()
He and his brother are identical twins and their parents' only children. I just cannot even begin to imagine how hard this is going to be for the one surviving. He and his brother were like all identical twins when they were younger. My surviving cousin lost his wife suddenly six years ago. She was one of those people whom everyone loved and they had a wonderful marriage. When my cousin remarried just a year and a half later to a woman twenty years younger, his brother was extremely critical of him and they had their first real falling out of their lives. It drove a wedge in their relationship from which they never recovered.
reply by redimpala on Apr 19, 2012 6:43 AM ()
so sorry for your tragic loss, my friend. its not easy.

yer constant pal
comment by honeybugg on Apr 19, 2012 3:29 AM ()
Thank you, Bugg! It was so shocking to me and all the family.
reply by redimpala on Apr 19, 2012 6:44 AM ()
Sorry for your loss, Joan.
comment by troutbend on Apr 18, 2012 2:12 PM ()
Thank you, Laura. Things like this are shocking. Accepting the death of someone for whom you care is never easy, but this one will be even harder.
reply by redimpala on Apr 18, 2012 2:30 PM ()
The other sad news that Dick Clark died.How we are remember him.
So sorry,to hear about this.I can see why you are still trying to process it.
comment by fredo on Apr 18, 2012 1:59 PM ()
Thank you, Fredo. I've been so preoccupied with my cousin's death that I hadn't heard about Dick Clark. He was so much a part of our youth. Sad.
reply by redimpala on Apr 18, 2012 2:31 PM ()
Life is not easy for the living
comment by greatmartin on Apr 18, 2012 12:45 PM ()
No, it isn't; but especially so in cases such as this.
reply by redimpala on Apr 18, 2012 2:31 PM ()

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