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Tuesday, 24-Jan-2006 12:00
Sgt Sean H. Miles
Sean died doing what he said he would do, "Bring his Marines home!". God Bless Him! Fair Winds Sgt!

There is an excellent slideshow of Sean on the link in the first story below. - JHD

Marine Came From Military Tradition
Sergeant's family proud of their Marine
Friday, January 27, 2006

Sean Miles knew every Star Wars movie by heart.
In high school, he hated homework and relished football. As a fullback at Clover Hill High in Chesterfield County, Miles dreamed of becoming a professional football player.

He loved the Redskins, but he lived the Marines.

A black-belt, martial-arts instructor, the 28-year-old Marine Corps sergeant couldn't sit through an episode of "Cops" if children were involved in the plot.

He vowed his son, 2½ year-old Tyler, would grow up strong.

This week, Miles died proving what strength means.

Fewer than two weeks before he was due to wind up a seven-month tour of duty in Iraq, Miles was killed in action Tuesday in the Iraqi town of Karmah, about 50 miles west of Baghdad.

"He lived and breathed being a U.S. Marine platoon sergeant, and he died pulling a fellow Marine to safety," said Michael Miles, Sean's father.

Yesterday, Miles' parents, who live in Chesterfield's Woodlake subdivision, spent the day at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with Miles' widow, Genevieve, and their grandson.

They shared stories about their son.

"He was a tough guy on the outside but such a softie on the inside," Miles' mother, Debbie Miles, said with a laugh. "I never thought Sean would be ready for fatherhood, but he grabbed the bull by the horns."

"Tyler was the love of his life. He was his daddy's little boy," she said. "We will make sure he knows everything he needs to know about his father, even the silly things."

Miles, who came from a family with a military tradition, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. He died as a result of small-arms fire, a Department of Defense news release said.

Miles joined the Marines in October 1996, the year he graduated from high school. Before deploying to Iraq, he did two tours in the Pacific Rim, following in the footsteps of an uncle, Regi Miles, a Marine gunnery sergeant who died in 1988 during a training exercise in Okinawa.

Sean Miles named his son, Tyler Regi Miles, after him.

"He looked up [to his uncle] all the time," said Henry A. Miles Jr., Miles' grandfather and a World War II Navy veteran who served with the Seabees in Okinawa.

"For us it's like it's happening all over again," the grandfather said.

Sean Miles was born in Long Island, grew up in Virginia and was stationed at Camp Lejeune. He will be buried in San Antonio, his wife's hometown.

"We want him to be with her and his son," Debbie Miles said, adding that a memorial service would be held in the Richmond area next week.

Miles, a middle child, moved to Chesterfield in 1990. He attended Swift Creek Middle School and graduated from Clover Hill.

"He wanted to play football more than anything in the world," his mother said, adding that on the gridiron her son had more heart than skill.

"He was decent," she said, chuckling.

Ted Salmon was Miles' varsity football coach.

At 168 pounds, "he was not big . . . but he was an outstanding young man who played with a lot of heart," Salmon said. "He was the kind of player you really enjoyed having. He played with a lot of desire."

Erin Miles, Sean's sister, got emotional yesterday when she talked about her older brother.

The two were born just more than a year apart and looked alike.

"We grew up so identical," she said. "I always tagged along with all of his buddies. He always looked out for me."

She laughed as she recalled how her brother would sniff out the Christmas presents and torment her with the details.

"He would say: 'I found Mom's hiding spot. Do you want to know what you got?'"

But just minutes after laughing, Erin Miles started to cry.

She was going to miss him, she said.

More importantly, she wanted people to know just how good her brother was and how proud she was of him.

"There was nothing about him that was not a Marine," she said. "I want people to know that.

"I want them to know what an outstanding Marine he was. With all this anti-war talk, I want them to know how proud we are of his service. There will never come a day that we will regret it."

Contact staff writer Meredith Bonny at mbonny@timesdispatch.com or (804) 649-6452.
Staff writer Holly Prestidge contributed to this report.

This story can be found at: http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD/MGArticle/RTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1137833681372


Va. Marine Dies 3 Weeks Before Iraq Tour Was to End

By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 26, 2006; B03

Sgt. Sean Miles was a tough Marine with a soft heart.

Last summer, just before shoving off for Iraq, Miles phoned his older brother back home in Virginia and asked him to "keep an eye" on his 2 1/2 -year old son, Tyler, in case the unthinkable happened.

"I didn't want to talk about it," said Christopher Miles of Midlothian, where the family had moved in 1990 from New York. "I felt talking about it would jinx it, but it was something he wanted to talk about."

On Tuesday, the unthinkable happened.

Sean Miles, 28, was killed by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Karmah, Iraq, just three weeks before he was scheduled to complete his seven-month tour.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Among his decorations were the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Yesterday, family and friends gathered at his home in North Carolina, where his wife, Genevieve, and son had been anxiously awaiting his return. The family chose brother Christopher, 30, the oldest of three siblings, to speak about Sean.

"He was one of those people everyone seemed to know," Miles said. "We keep having people come up to us and say they knew him or say they went to school with him. I can't imagine the number of friends he had. I'm the introvert of the two of us. I'm envious of the lives he touched."

Miles said his brother loved sports and excelled in varsity football at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, west of Richmond.

"He was the jock of the family," Miles said. "He loved to live and relive those glory days."

After a game, if he had made any outstanding plays, he liked to watch the video. Sometimes, he watched the videos "years after the fact," Miles said.

In 1996, as graduation approached, his brother was set on joining the Marines.

"I think he didn't consider anything else but the military," said Miles, who served in the Navy.

"When he put on the uniform, he was 100 percent Marine," Miles said. "He was the poster child for the Marine Corps. He lived and breathed the Marine Corps. He had such pride in wearing the uniform."

Miles said his brother trained Marines at Camp Lejeune before heading to Iraq. He felt the need to go there.

"He wanted to be able to say he'd been there and served," Miles said.

This month, Sean Miles belatedly received a Christmas package from home filled with goodies and gifts, including videos of Redskin football games his father had taped.

"His big concern was the Redskins," Miles said.

Yesterday, in the face of loss, Miles said that "as upset as we are," the family does not regret Sean Miles's service.

"He believed in what we were there for," his brother said.

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